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.
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