The bank consortium Niuron moves forward with the launch of a blockchain project to verify the digital identity of clients

18 June 2018
  • The aim is to develop a platform before the end of 2018, to improve digital identity verifications 
  • The project has already passed the proof of concept stage where greater security and speed was noted

Niuron is the first bank consortium for the knowledge and promotion of blockchain technology in the financial sector. It is promoted by eight banks – Abanca, Bankia, Caixabank, Caixa Ontinyent, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Liberbank and Unicaja Banco. This consortium is led by Cecabank in collaboration with Grant Thornton, and its goal is twofold. On the one hand, to act as a technology observatory. Thus, it would generate knowledge in the technical, legal and business field. On the other hand, it aims to promote collaborative projects between companies. These would be based on blockchain technology and focused on transforming the sector.

Customer verification

With this aim, a subgroup of five companies from the consortium (Abanca, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Liberbank and Unicaja Bank), as well as another company on this occasion, Caja Ingenieros, is developing a project. The purpose of this is to quickly and securely verify the identity of a person when registering as a customer. The aim is to solve a problem that is common to all financial institutions, which is that they must confirm a customer's identity when they perform transactions with them for the first time. The new platform allows checks to be carried out quickly and securely. Always with the customer's explicit consent.

When this innovative project is finished at the end of this year, it will allow a customer's digital identity to be shared between different banks, strictly meeting the current data protection regulation (GDPR) and the highest security standards. It will also enable companies to continue to develop opportunities with blockchain technology. This will mainly be conducted via the transfer of knowledge to their professional teams.

Benefits of Niuron

The benefits of this platform are manifold. They include an increase in speed, cost savings, reduced fraud and operational risk and improved money laundering prevention, and more. For the customer it decreases the time needed during registration and they have control over their personal data. This will improve the user experience.

This project follows on from the proof of concept completed last September. At that stage, the consortium's founding companies endorsed the potential of blockchain technology in transferring customers' information. This means that compliance with money laundering prevention regulations and Know Your Customer are strengthened. During the proof of concept stage, the benefits that blockchain technology brings were confirmed: the improvement of cybersecurity and the traceability of operations, increased transparency and privacy, savings in costs due to removing intermediaries and ultimately, making the client the owner of their data.

Grant Thornton brings its experience in the development of blockchain technology. It also provides a team covering a range of fields comprising lawyers, business experts and programmers. This will ensure the utmost benefits of applying this technology in the financial sector.

Cecabank contributes its expertise in the B2B financial sector and innovation in services to customers. It also provides its ability to govern cooperative initiatives in the long term to bring success to activities developed within the consortium.

 

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