Pakistan Banks’ Association launches a national, blockchain based, eKYC platform for the banking industry in Pakistan
Karachi, March 02, 2023: Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), on behalf of all its member banks, signed the project contract for the development and execution of Pakistan’s first, blockchain based, national eKYC banking platform with the Avanza Group. The signing ceremony was held at the PBA office in Karachi on March 2, 2023 .
The ceremony was attended by PBA Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, who is also President HBL; Mr. Akhter Javed, Director BPRD, SBP; Mr. Tawfiq Hussain, CEO PBA, the signatory for PBA; Mr. Waqas Mirza, CEO Avanza Innovations; and Mr. Omer Khan, CEO, Avanza Solutions (Pvt) Ltd; the signatory for Avanza.
The eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) project is part of SBP’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the control infrastructure for Anti Money Laundering (AML)/Terrorist Financing (TF) in the country. PBA has been overseeing the planning and management of the project on behalf of the banking industry, under the aegis of the State Bank of Pakistan.
In addition to strengthening AML controls, the deployment of this platform will bring about efficiencies at participating banks and will result in improvement in customer experience, especially at the time of account opening, thus facilitating financial inclusion.
Avanza Group’s eKYC platform, ‘Consonance’, is being implemented for PBA. The platform will use blockchain technology through which banks will be able to standardize and exchange, with customers’ consent, their details via a decentralized and self-regulated network. This will be a support platform for Pakistan’s banking industry and all participating member banks will be able to perform assessments of their existing, as well as new customers, by utilizing information/ data available with any other bank on ‘Consonance’.
Once performed by a member bank, the eKYC data can be utilized by other banks for Customer Due Diligence (CDD), thus minimizing cost and effort in customer onboarding and improving the customers’ account opening experience, thus facilitating financial inclusion.
Govt. of Sindh, through SAGP Launches Blockchain Based Procurement Platform Collabrex, in Collaboration with World Bank, Avanza, & Microsoft
Sindh Agricultural Growth Project (SAGP) on Monday, 22nd June 2020 announced the launch of Blockchain Enabled Smart Framework Agreement platform Collabrex , in collaboration with representatives from Government of Sindh, World Bank Group, Avanza and Microsoft.
The event kicked-off with the opening remarks from the Honorable Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Muhammad Ismail Rahoo where he congratulated Avanza and Microsoft for successfully delivering a state of the art and first ever Production grade blockchain based platform in Pakistan for SAGP and The World Bank.
Avanza is proud to be the only company in Pakistan to implement the first-ever production grade Blockchain implementation in Pakistan, collaboratively with its strategic partner Microsoft at Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP).
Speaking at the event, Mr. Aftab Solangi, Chief Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist – SAGP said, “SAGP in collaboration with the World Bank conceptualized the idea and further developed a prototype of Blockchain to integrate into our procurement system”
The Government of Sindh with the support of World Bank initiated the SAGP project for the well-being of small-scale farmers and overall development of the agricultural sector. With the help of Collabrex platform, farmers have an access to a digital market place from where they can conveniently acquire relevant equipment and resources seamlessly – while the Government of Sindh, SAGP, and World Bank can keep a complete and immutable trace of the provided equipment and resource. In addition to this, Collabrex provides a paperless/online experience in these challenging times of Covid-19 where farmers can avail Government of Sindh led facilities through digital channels without having to visit government offices.
Mr. Hidayatullah Chhajro, DG/PD, Agriculture Extension Sindh, Said “Collabrex is a break through which will bring ease in the life of farmer through various components of the solution such as E-Marketplace”
The event was taken forward to understand the vision of World Bank behind Collabrex. Mr. Guo Li, Sr. Economist Task Team Leader SAGP – World Bank congratulated all the stakeholders for launching Collabrex. Mr. Guo while apprising the participants about World Banks’ collaboration with SAGP stated “This platform can be replicated in other departments of the government to take advantage of this solution, especially in current Covid-19 pandemic by using this platform to encourage contactless and digital environment”
Collabrex has been built on high performance distributed ledger technology framework, Hyperledger Fabric, deployed on Microsoft Azure, and implemented using CIPHER: Avanza’s Blockchain implementation platform. Built on blockchain technology, Collabrex ensures transparency, data immutability, audibility and precise execution of all processes through smart contracts. The platform can be easily extended to support allocation, dispatch and tracking of equipment and resource in any industry vertical
“Collabrex will reap benefits to World Bank and any other donor by ensuring that the funds are utilized for intended purpose, since the platform data is secure and immutable”Mr. Khalid Anjum, Procurement Specialist – World Bank
“Microsoft is keen to play its role in promoting the great work happening in the region. Through our partners such as Avanza that have local know-how and global expertise, this is the recipe of making such projects successful. Collabrex leverages Avanza’s Cipher platform and Microsoft Azure cloud services to meet needs set out by Govt .of Sindh, this is also aligned with Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Shahzad Khan, Country General Manager – Microsoft Pakistan
Avanza has been enabling and empowering governments across multiple regions to embrace 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) through digital government transformation and smart city platforms – and through nascent technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. We are very happy that SAGP has provided Avanza the opportunity to implement Pakistan’s first production-grade blockchain solution. We hope to replicate this success in many other verticals and regions within Pakistan
Waqas Mirza, CEO – Avanza Innovations
Blockchain Enabled Smart Framework Agreements
- Published in Digital Government Transformation, Trade & Supply Chain
The BENEFIT Company launches first Blockchain Based National EKYC platform in the region with its technology partner Avanza Innovations #3
The Benefit Company Bahrain has launched the first ever production grade eKYC blockchain implementation in the region in collaboration with IGA and Avanza as technology partner. Avanza is proud to implement the first blockchain eKYC project in the region harnessing CIPHER- Avanza’s Blockchain Orchestration Platform.
“CIPHER is Avanza’s Blockchain Orchestration and Governance Platform which enables blockchain implementation for enterprises in a fast and scalable manner. The availability of ready-made microservices and components in CIPHER make it easy to kick start enterprise blockchain implementations with inherent scalability.”
Avanza’s Cipher along with Hyperledger Fabric 2.2 with AWS Deployment is used in Bahrain to store all KYC data across financial institutions and Gov. Entities and share the data across financial institutions and other network participants with customer’s consent.
The eKYC implementation over blockchain enables participants privacy and inculcate efficiency in verifying KYC data. The platform also facilitates a tamper-proof encrypted master record of KYC data by Benefit Bahrain on blockchain. The implementation enables a paperless ecosystem in these challenging times of Covid to transform electronic payments systems through disruptive technology.
MR. KHALID AL HAMAD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BANKING SUPERVISION AT THE CBB SAID
The CBB urges all licensed financial institutions to avail of this innovative and streamlined service and accelerate its efforts towards automating the maintenance of its customer data and reputation records, by implementing eKYC API integration with their core systems, digital channels and mobile apps. We continue to support technological advancement in the sector to minimize cost while also fostering innovation and integration between financial institutions and fintech companies. This is also in line with the CBB’s continuous efforts in developing the financial sector infrastructure in light of the Covid-19 repercussions to ensure appropriate solutions for electronic payment systems.
The Vice Chairman of eTransformation in the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), Dr.Zakareya Ahmed Alkhaja, confirmed that iGA supports “BENEFIT” for the technical advancements in the financial sector in the region. He pointed out that the authority has started providing the identity verification services in the government with a vision of providing customers ownership of their data and sharing the information with ease. He expressed his pride in the first ever eKYC project on blockchain that will further contribute towards the economic and commercial growth in the region.
“It gives us great pleasure to continue developing the eKYC platform in an effort to drive digital transformation in the Kingdom’s various sectors. We have succeeded in enabling the integration of this digital platform into core banking systems and smart phone applications, and we are pleased to announce that Bahrain Islamic Bank has successfully integrated this platform into its core banking services system, while “ila” Bank offers customer on-boarding in a completely digital and autonomous manner through its mobile app, both based on eKYC API integration. We look forward to the use of eKYC services on a larger scale during the coming period.”Abdulwahid Janahi, BENEFIT’s Chief Executive Officer
“Avanza has been enabling and empowering governments across multiple regions to embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) through digital government transformation and smart city platforms – and through nascent technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. We are very happy that BENEFIT BAHRAIN has provided Avanza the opportunity to implement Bahrain’s first production-grade eKYC blockchain solution. We hope to replicate this success in many other verticals and regions within Bahrain.”Waqas Mirza, CEO, Avanza Innovations
Avanza Innovations wins “International Recognition” at Bahrain Tech Awards 2018!
Dubai – 6th Nov, 2018: Avanza Innovations secured the “International Recognition” award at Bahrain Tech Awards. The event honored Avanza’s region-first production grade Blockchain implementation, along with recognition for its Blockchain orchestration and governance platform CIPHER.
Coming off of a recent win in the category of “Digital Government” at the APICTA Awards held in Guangzhou (China), Avanza has secured back to back wins and recognition for its pioneering Blockchain implementations in the region.
The Bahrain Tech Awards 2018 award ceremony, now in their 2nd year, attracted distinguished personalities, including those representing the startup ecosystem, global investors-community, the ICT sector, corporate giants, and government offices.
The winners of the Awards were commended by the CEO of Tamkeen (labor fund), H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Janahi. Dr. Janahi emphasized the importance of events like Bahrain Tech Award for encouraging Bahrain tech startups to develop unique and innovative solutions, products, and services that propel them into the same leagues as the world’s leading tech and innovation companies
Avanza Innovations, the latest venture of Avanza Group, was established in 2017 to focus on nascent technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Smart City Projects. Within a few months of its incorporation, Avanza Innovations has achieved major successes by winning city wide projects in Blockchain, AI across verticals such as Smart City Enablement, Payments, Health Care, Education, Real Estate etc. Avanza has been leading the Blockchain space in the middle-east with active projects and implementations across multiple public and private sector organizations.
“Avanza have always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology, we make it our mission to help evolve technologies past buzzwords and towards implementations. With Blockchain, the space is ripe for organizations to start their transformation process and be part of this movement to build a decentralized future. I am pleased to accept this award, it is a testament of all the hard work put in by our teams”Mr. Ali Safri, CTO – Avanza Innovations
Avanza is involved in numerous Blockchain implementations across a number of verticals in different territories and aims to create many more success stories with customers and partners.
- Published in Awards, Digital Government Transformation
Avanza’s CIPHER wins Gold for “Best in Digital Government” at the APICTA Awards 2018
Guangzhou, China – 13th Oct, 2018 Avanza Innovations, one of the region’s most well established nascent technology providers won gold at the APICTA Awards 2018. Part of Avanza Group of Companies, Avanza Innovations has been leading the space with respect to key solutions across Blockchain, AI, RPA, Financial Regulation & Supervision and Smart City Enablement.
Held at the Garden Hotel, the APICTA Awards recognize the achievements of innovators, acknowledging creativity and excellence in the Information and Communications Technologies space. This year there were over 22 countries which participated in the event, including leading asian economies such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc.
The APICTA Awards 2018 honored Avanza’s Blockchain orchestration and governance platform, Cipher in the “Best in Digital Government” category. Through Cipher Avanza has been able to deliver massive projects like Dubai’s Recon and Settlement platform, which has processed 6m+ transactions on the Blockchain as of now. Cipher also is being employed by multiple government entities to develop Blockchain led innovations across key verticals such as Energy, Mass Transit, Financial Regulation, Real estate and Energy Conservation & Management.
“At Avanza we work with the region’s most forward thinking governments and organizations to bring cutting edge technologies to life. Our passion for innovation is fueled by our desire to create technologies that positively impact the lives of millions of people globally. I am delighted to accept this award from APICTA, it is a testament to the hard work put in by our teams”Ms. Jenny Cheung (Head of Business – Avanza Innovations) received the award and said at the event
With such key success and multiple regional awards under its belt Avanza is now looking to replicate its success across key global destinations to help them demystify their Blockchain journeys.
- Published in Awards, Digital Government Transformation
Avanza’s CIPHER wins “Best in Digital Government” award at the PASHA ICT Awards 2018
Avanza Innovations, CIPHER picked up the award for the second time at this year’s ceremony. The award was given because of the massive inroads Avanza has made in enable digital governance throught Blockchain.
07 September 2018; Islamabad, Pakistan –
Held at the Serena Hotel, the 14th iteration of the awards honored Avanza’s Blockchain orchestration and governance platform, Cipher. The P@SHA ICT Awards recognize the achievements of innovators, acknowledging creativity and excellence in the Information and Communications Technologies sector. There were a total of 9 categories, comprising of 37 awards. Finalists are selected by a diverse group of experienced judges and winner from each category is awarded.
Avanza has been leading the Blockchain space in the Middle-East and Asia with active projects and implementations across multiple public and private sector organizations. Cipher is Avanza’s Blockchain implementation and orchestration platform. Built with the future in mind, Cipher is a platform agnostic solution that can ride on any underlying Blockchain technology (Ethereum, Hyperledger, Ripple etc.).
The company has also been the driving force behind key advancements in Blockchain technology adoption in the region. Cipher has seen them create the very first city-wide smart applications and solutions that are empowering region as a whole.
“At Avanza, we strive to stay at the cutting edge on the lookout for new possibilities that can make the world a better place. Our passion for innovation is fueled by the desire to create applications that touch the lives of millions. I am delighted to accept this award from PASHA, it is a testament to the hard work put in by our team”Mr. Omer Ahmed Khan (Director – Avanza Group) received the award and said at the event
About Avanza Innovations
Avanza Innovations is the latest venture of Avanza Group of Companies – an 18 year old technology power house that has 300 customers across 45 countries, and processes 12 million transaction every day.
Avanza Innovations was established in July 2017 to focus on nascent technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Smart City Projects. Within a few months of its incorporation, Avanza Innovations has achieved major successes by winning city wide projects in Blockchain, AI across verticals such as Smart City Enablement, Payments, Health Care, Education, Real Estate etc.
Avanza Innovations is viewed as a thought-leader in nascent technologies across the region, thus winning the admiration and confidence of not just customers but also of industry partners such as Microsoft, Gartner, IBM, regulators and government entities
Avanza Wins Fastest Growing Blockchain Company – (Product – Cipher) UAE 2018
Avanza Innovations, one of the regions most established innovators, has been awarded the ‘Fastest Growing Blockchain Company for 2018’ in the technology category by International Finance Awards. The awards, now in their 6th year honor Avanza’s region first production-grade Blockchain implementation along with recognition for its Blockchain orchestration and governance platform Cipher.
International Finance Awards recognizes industry talent, leadership skills, industry net worth and capability on an international platform.
Avanza has been leading the Blockchain space in the middle-east with active projects and implementations across multiple public and private sector organizations. The company has also been spearheading thought leadership initiatives that have seen them represent the Blockchain space across various domestic and International platforms.
A major reason for the win has been their active promotion and growth of the Blockchain space. This is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai into the first Government in the world to execute all applicable transactions via Blockchain by 2020.
“At Avanza we have always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology, we make it our mission to help evolve technologies past buzzwords and towards implementations. With Blockchain, the space is ripe for organizations to start their experimentation and be part of this movement to build a decentralized future“Speaking with IFM, Mr. Waqas Mirza, CEO – Avanza Innovations
- Published in Awards, Digital Government Transformation
Avanza Innovations demystifies Blockchain systems
Mr. Waqas Mirza, CEO – Avanza Innovations, displays its reconciliation & settlement engine on Blockchain deployed in Dubai’s Department of Finance.
Avanza Innovations is currently working with Dubai’s Department of Finance and Smart Dubai Government to implement Dubai’s first Blockchain reconciliation and settlement Platform. This project involves 40 plus government entities and around 15 banks in Dubai.
CIPHER is Avanza’s Blockchain orchestration Platform that can run Hyperledger, Ethereum, Quorum and other blockchain nodes from a single orchestration layer. One of Cipher key implementations is its blockchain based reconciliation and settlement engine. The reconciliation and settlement engine is an ideal project for both public and private sector organisations to help them provide an instant payment settlement process amongst their interconnected entities/departments.
The recon and settlement Platform is a critical part of Dubai’s drive to move all applicable transactions to the Blockchain. Previously the Dubai government struggled with a 45 day recon and settlement process with its partner entities. These entities had their own legacy/silo’d systems that led to process delays and lack of inter-operatability
With the Blockchain’s inherent 2nd eye concept Avanza will be able to get all partner entities on board a system that does near seamless reconciliation and settlement.
Avanza Innovations showcases region-first technologies at Future Blockchain Summit
Showcasing the first ever Blockchain orchestration platform, first production-grade Blockchain implementation, and various transformative Blockchain applications.
3 May 2018; Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Blockchain is being seen as one of the most transformative and disruptive technologies since the internet. An innovation that has the potential to transform both public and private sector organizations alike. The Future Blockchain Summit attracted policy and decision makers, influencers, technology providers, and government officials from across the globe.
Avanza Innovations unveiled its next leg of Blockchain innovations through various talks, on-site demos, and media/customer meet-ups at the Future Blockchain Summit. Avanza Innovations has been leading the line for Blockchain acceptance and applications in the region and is the proud winner of not one but two Dubai Future Accelerator cohorts.
To meet the demands of a growing global market, Avanza Innovations demonstrated its latest solution, Cipher, a Blockchain orchestration platform. Cipher is currently being used by multiple partners and entities to help build Blockchain led technology of the future. With Cipher, organizations can move past the underlying complexities of establishing Blockchain based solutions and move towards greater reliability and security through a full stack offering.
Cipher utilizes Single-point access to Blockchain platforms, including Hyperledger, Ethereum, Quorum etc., and readymade adapters to provide rapid integration with existing Blockchain technologies, Smart contract lifecycle, and change management.
Avanza Innovations also demonstrated the region’s ‘first production-grade Blockchain implementation’; a Blockchain reconciliation and settlement platform that is being built for Dubai’s Department of Finance through the vision and leadership of the Smart Dubai Government. This project involves 40 plus government entities and around 15 banks in Dubai.
“Blockchain has the potential to disrupt and innovate technology as we know it. At Avanza, we feel it is our mission to help organizations realize the potential of this transformative technology and move them towards a decentralized, demystified and future-proof tomorrow”Mr. Waqas Mirza, CEO – Avanza Innovations
Also at the event was Mr. Ali Safri, CTO – Avanza Innovations, who said, “At Avanza, we are working passionately to help build platforms of the future. A big part of our strategy is to partner with like-minded and innovative organizations to facilitate global customers.”
A recent example of this is the availability of Cipher on Microsoft Azure. Cipher gives customers access to a Blockchain orchestration layer on the cloud allowing organizations to port their use case on to a series of global Blockchain platforms.
About Avanza Innovations
Avanza Innovations is the latest venture of Avanza Group of Companies – an 18-year-old technology powerhouse that has 300 customers across 45 countries and processes 12 million transactions every day.
Avanza Innovations was established in July 2017 to focus on nascent technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Smart City Projects. Within a few months of its incorporation, Avanza Innovations has achieved major successes by winning citywide projects in Blockchain, and AI across verticals such as Smart City Enablement, Payments, Health Care, Education, Real Estate etc.
Avanza Innovations is viewed as a thought-leader in nascent technologies across the region, thus winning the admiration and confidence of not just customers but also of industry partners such as Microsoft, Gartner, IBM, regulators and government entities.