IBM Successfully Tests Blockchain KYC with France’s Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Technology giant IBM (NYSE: IBM) and French banking and insurance group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa announced the completion of a blockchain project to improve client identification. They created an operational permissioned blockchain network that enables compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements using the open-source Hyperledger Project fabric.

“Blockchain is a transformative agent in our operational application, as proven by this project — the first of its kind in France. This pilot offers a complete view of customers’ documents across our distributed network,” said Frédéric Laurent, COO Innovation & Operations, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. “The project helped us to understand and master blockchain for other client uses. Now, we are ready to incorporate this technology in our ecosystem.”

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group and IBM explain that they are working to federate the different silos of customer data creating a single but cross-businesses KYC platform to inform all of the bank’s processes, helping to reduce unnecessary duplication of information and requests. The blockchain technology identifies and uses all valid existing evidence already stored in the bank’s multiple systems of record such as from mortgage applications or life insurance enrollment and bank accounts opening.

“Crédit Mutuel Arkéa applied IBM Design Thinking and agile development methods to turn a simple idea into a strategic, decentralized platform for collaboration. The availability of IBM Blockchain services and DevOps tools on IBM innovation platform Bluemix was key to accelerate the time-to-value during the development phase,” said Juliette Macret, IBM Financial Services Sector Business Development Director, IBM France. “As the foundation of a robust system of trust, blockchain technology can help businesses create frictionless business transactions that improve customer satisfaction and employee efficiency.”

The firms explain that the software reinforces consistency, traceability and privacy of the information, which is critical in a highly regulated environment. One day Crédit Mutuel Arkéa could enable its customers to deliver proof of their identity to third-parties such as local utilities, retailers or regulated service providers.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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