FinTech trend #2: You realise the importance of a digital identity

One thing is clear: you are aware that technology and digitalisation are more than just departments within a company. Technology helps build your organisation and enables you to grow.

This applies to all sectors in the Belgian market, from telecommunications to retail and agriculture. However, technological progress is also evolving at a fast pace in the financial sector. Innovative FinTech solutions offer opportunities for companies and organisations. In the years ahead, these solutions will therefore have a major impact on the way we deal with money.

In October 2018, we conducted market research to gain a better understanding of the main FinTech trends in Belgium. Discover the results of our research in a series of 3 blog posts.

The research shows that 95% of respondents expect a FinTech partner to be proactive and innovative. When it comes to innovation, Know Your Customer (KYC) comes out on top, with 82% of respondents identifying it as the most valuable concept for the future. KYC refers to the process of validating the identity of a new customer: is the customer who he or she claims to be? And – when the customer is a company – who are the legal representatives of this company? All too often, this process is still done manually and is very time-consuming. It could be made much simpler through smart digitalisation and the use of the new technologies on the Belgian market.

At Isabel Group, we have been working on a KYC digitalisation project for quite some time. We already detected this trend at the end of 2017 and immediately linked it with a new technology: blockchain. Blockchain is a network which encrypts data and stores it in blocks. This data is shared with everyone who has access to the network. It is not stored in a single location but on several different computers, and this data decentralisation makes blockchain secure by design.

This means that:

  • The data cannot be controlled exclusively by a single entity.
  • There is no single point of failure.

Blockchain can therefore be used to ‘notarise’ a KYC process, making it clear who was identified and when. In this way, blockchain becomes a kind of digital notary stamp.

The KYC project belongs to Isabel Group’s innovation department, which is managed by Frank Verhaest. Frank tells us more: “Together with four Belgian banks, we are examining ways to simplify the process of validating the identity of new professional banking clients such as SMEs. This could be done much more simply, efficiently and quickly using blockchain. The project is currently in the pilot phase and we expect to be able to launch it in 2019.

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