Opening bank accounts will soon get easier for South Koreans.
Thanks to a blockchain-based application, customers will be able to remotely open accounts requiring KYC (know your customer) verification using only their smartphones, Cointelegraph reports.
ICONLOOP, the technology arm of South Korean blockchain network ICON, is partnering with Shinhan Bank to issue KYC compliance certificates. The bank is South Korea’s second-largest, with $375 billion in assets. The blockchain firm will allow customers to use its Zzeung mobile app’s blockchain-based decentralized identity (DID) technology to open bank accounts.
Such compliance certificates allow users to bypass redundant KYC compliance processes to request service at Shinan Bank, the second largest in South Korea. Once customers verify their identity using the Zzeung app, Shinhan will verify their information and issue a compliance certificate, which can be used to request password changes.
Zzeung is the only mobile app approved by the Financial Services Commission. “This issuance of KYC compliance certification with Shinhan Bank is of great significance because it is the first commercialization of DID services used in the financial sector in Korea,” said ICONLOOP CEO Jong-hyup Kim.
“In the future, we will expand the Zzeung to all industries that require identity verification beyond the financial sector so that more users can experience the convenience of DID technology.”
Though this may be the blockchain firm’s first DID rollout in the financial sector, it has already been used in South Korea for contact tracing of the coronavirus, said the Cointelegraph report.
Jeju Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations for Koreans, now requires visitors to use the Zzeung app with its DID technology to keep records of where they visit on the island, and if they maintain enough distance between each other to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
According to the announcement, NH Nonghyup Bank and IBK Industrial Bank will also use Zzeung for KYC compliance certification in 2020. ICONLOOP said it plans to expand the app’s service to provide various forms of identity authentication such as visitor authentication and qualification authentication.
Shinhan Bank-issued compliance certificates will be also applied to various other identity verification services used to access Shinhan’s mobile banking services, including mobile password issuances, password changes, and other customer verification needs.