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Prototype KYC Software Undergoes Successful International Test

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Published on Thursday, 21 October 2021

On the 20 - 21 October 2021, CONCORDIA will host its annual Open Door event, where experts from the areas of IT, industry, entrepreneurship, education, economy and policy will gather to discuss the next breakthroughs in cybersecurity technology, as well as future needs. A software developed within the Services and Data Management (SEDAN) research group at SnT will be demonstrated at the event, poised to help financial institutions exchange customer data through a blockchain to enable smoother know-your-customer (KYC) checks on international clients.

After developing a first prototype of the software as part of his Ph.D. project with the Luxembourg Bankers Association (ABBL), Dr. Rob Norvill has recently developed an updated version that has the possibility to tackle one of the biggest challenges that expats have in setting up their life abroad, and could drastically simplify international banking. When it comes to KYC checks, people may struggle to access banking services abroad due to the increased costs. With this software, a customer could update their personal information with a particular bank with the click of a button, and be able to authorise it to be shared through a private blockchain to another institution. 

After finishing his Ph.D., Dr. Norvill continued his work at SnT on the project to develop a working prototype of the software, called Concordance. Being interested in digital identities and potentially simplifying their future KYC checks, CaixaBank – the leading financial group in retail banking in Spain, with three branches in Luxembourg – were excited to explore the technology. “The potential impact of this technology on the future of financial services is extremely important. We are pleased to continue proactively exploring and researching the technology with our partners,” said Mario Maawad, Director of Security, Innovation & Transformation at CaixaBank.

The project has just seen its very first international test using example customer profiles and documents by initiating the process from Luxembourg with CaixaBank in Spain through a server in the Netherlands. The test saw a request from the bank to the ‘customer’ to obtain permission to access the data, followed by international data checking and exchange using a blockchain.

CONCORDIA is a project within Horizon 2020 (H2020), the European Union’s funding framework for research and innovation. At the CONCORDIA Open Door event, Dr. Norvill and a representative from CaixaBank will attend the event to demo and explain the software and its functionality. “It’s been a three-and-a-half-year journey on this project, so it’s really exciting to have created a software that will have a tangible benefit in the world!” said Dr. Norvill.  

Originally from the north of England, Dr. Rob Norvill completed his Master’s degree in Computer Science with the University of Bradford. He then completed his Ph.D. in an international collaboration between the University of Luxembourg and University of Bradford. He is now a post-doctoral researcher at the SEDAN research group of SnT, where his main research interest areas include blockchain and cryptocurrencies.