Pakistan banks agree on blockchain-based KYC system development


The Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) — a group of 31 traditional banks operating in Pakistan — signed off on developing a blockchain-based Know Your Customer (KYC) platform. 

On March 2, the PBA signed the project contract to develop Pakistan’s first blockchain-based national eKYC banking platform, as reported by the Daily Times. The move aims to strengthen Anti-Money Laundering capabilities while countering terror financing — an initiative led by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The member banks include international establishments such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank and Deutsche Bank. Moreover, the blockchain platform will improve operational efficiencies, primarily aimed at improving customer experience during onboarding.

The Avanza Group has been tasked to develop the blockchain-based eKYC platform named “Consonance,” which will be used by member banks to standardize and exchange customer data via a decentralized and self-regulated network. However, the customer details will be shared based on consent — allowing banks to assess existing and new customers.

Related: India explores offline functionality of CBDCs — RBI executive director

Joining other countries in the race to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Pakistan recently signed new laws to ensure the launch of a CBDC by 2025.

Global CBDC initiatives overview. Source: Atlantic Council

The SPB will issue licenses to electronic money institutions for CBDC issuance. “These landmark regulations are a testament to the SBP’s commitment toward openness, adoption of technology and digitization of our financial system,” said Deputy Governor of SBP Jameel Ahmad.

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