PwC And Onfido Partner To Build A Blockchain Based Solution For Customer Identities On uPort

Ethereum based platform, uPort, also backed by ConsenSys – announced a partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four company, and Onfido, a global identity verification provider, to find potential customer identity solutions in the financial space across the globe.

The partnership is set to build an Ethereum based solution that reduces the cost and time taken to process customer’s data during the onboarding process. Built on the blockchain, the collaborative project between uPort, Onfido, and PwC provides security, privacy and personal control of the data by the customer.

KYC/AML Regulations Headache in Financial Institutions

The financial institutions today are expected by law to collect customer data in accordance to the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance set in place.

According to a report by Thomas Reuters in 2018, over 43% of the 800+ financial institutions in the survey saw their compliance teams to grow during the year increasing the costs significantly. Furthermore, in 2018, the average cost of KYC compliance across banks increased by 18% to $56 million USD from the previous year.

Husayn Kassai, Co-Founder and CEO of Onfido believes it is time for a new technological system as the legacy centralized system to share customers’ identities “no longer works”. He commented,

“It doesn’t work for customers because it’s vulnerable to being hacked, nor does it work for businesses since, for example, knowledge-based questions are no longer robust, because of the hacks.”

A Game Changing Technological Solution

These increased costs make the customer onboarding process expensive and time consuming hence increasing the customer drop off rates and reducing the firm’s profits. Mike Kennelly, Director at PwC focused on Open Banking and Digital Transformation, said the innovative solution will solve these problems labelling the project “a game-changer”. He further commented,

“It opens up access to financial services, helps reduce fraud and is instrumental in driving more competition into the U.K. banking ecosystem.”

uPort and Onfido recently joined the UK Financial Conduct Authority to build decentralized applications in a regulated environment.

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