South Korea bank rolls out blockchain-based mobile identification system

South Korea’s Nonghyup Bank has announced the launch of a blockchain-based mobile identification system for commercial usage, backed by tech giants Samsung Electronics and LG Uplus.

The system is the first commercial application of the distributed identity technology developed by the “Initial DID Association,” according to local news agency JoongAng Ilbo.

The association is an identity consortium governed by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA). LG, SK Telecom, and Samsung Electronics reportedly organized the consortium and later accepted other telcos and commercial banks. Members include Hyundai Card, BC Card, Shinhan Bank, LG Uplus, KT, Samsung Electronics, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, CJ Olive Networks, and Koscom.

Nonghyup Bank President and CEO Lee Dae-hoon held a demo of the mobile employee ID card at the NH Digital Innovation Campus in Seoul. He invited about 20 of the bank’s executives and employees for the demo. During the demo, 20 Nonghyup employees applied for and received a virtual ID card through their mobile phones. They can use the app to access their office.

The new ID system was designed to provide better control and protection of the personal information and data of staff. It will also be initially used for commuting and managing access to offices. Going forward, the company plans to expand the mobile ID functionality to set appointments and include simple payment functions, such as buying food at the cafeteria.

The blockchain-powered DID technology system continues the development already made in the application of the technology in the field of digital identification.

Previously, non-profit Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KTFC) launched blockchain digital IDs for financial services. The IDs were designed to be interoperable between service providers, and about 30 firms have signed up to use the service.

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