The four major Belgian banks Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium and KBC, along with Isabel Group, have today announced the launch of KUBE. The financial institutions will use the blockchain application KUBE for sharing corporate data as part of the Know Your Customer process. It will streamline the verification and maintenance of corporate identities for businesses and banks. In this way, KUBE will accelerate the provision of services to businesses and intensify the fight against fraud and money laundering. KUBE will allow the Belgian financial sector to be the first to use blockchain on a large scale for the identification of businesses.
Banks are obliged to verify the identities of the directors and principal shareholders of businesses opening business accounts, and to do so regularly, to prevent money laundering and fraud. From now on, they will be able to share this information via KUBE. In this context, the five parties have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML) requires business customers to be verified. In this way, the EU aims to prevent fraudsters and criminals from doing business with financial institutions. This process is time-consuming for banks and their customers. It is currently carried out for each bank individually and has to be repeated frequently. To streamline the process for all parties involved, the four major Belgian banks and the Isabel Group are now creating a platform for sharing business identity information.
The customers will need to enter their data on the platform just once, and it will then be verified and validated by the bank. After that, the data will be shared securely between the member organisations. When a business opens an account with another bank, this bank will be able to go through the KYC process faster because all the required data are already available. In this way, businesses can open accounts without all the associated red tape and delays. Besides, it also allows for sharing any amendments to the corporate data so that the member banks always have the most recent data available.
A European first with blockchain
KUBE stands for “Know Your Customer Utility for Banks and Enterprises”. It is a secure, decentralised database based on blockchain technology. The Belgian financial sector is the first to make extensive use of blockchain for the identification of businesses. Blockchain not only ensures a high level of security but also allows performance of efficient checks and audits on the data.
“The development of KUBE is an important step in further administrative streamlining in our country. It is an essential measure in combating fraud, money-laundering, and other illegal financial activities,” explains Jean de Crane, CEO of Isabel Group. “The banks will not only use this data source to help prevent criminal activity, but the identification process and the maintenance of their data will also be more efficient for customers.”
Isabel Group is developing the KUBE platform for its own payment activities and on behalf of Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, and KBC. Other banks will also be able to join the platform in the future.
More info on KUBE: www.kube-kyc.be