Sri Lanka picks proof-of-concept shortlist for blockchain-based KYC

The central bank in Sri Lanka has shown preparedness towards the Know Your Customer (KYC) system in their banking industry. As part of the preparations, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank has shortlisted three firms to develop a proof-of-concept (PoC) powered by blockchain.

In November 2019, Sri Lanka’s central bank announced that it is looking for tech firms that can develop a PoC shared KYC platform to be used in the banking industry. The aim of this system is to update and share the data of customers using blockchain.

Central Bank Director Payments and Settlements D. Kumaratunge was quoted by local press saying, “We invited software companies to develop a shared KYC PoC free of charge, as a national project. The response to join this project, both locally and internationally, has been extremely heartening and we are happy to say that we have finalised selecting suitable applicants to begin development shortly.”

A total of 36 firms applied for the project, including a couple of foreign companies, according to the central bank official. Three firms—one of which was a foreign tech firm—were shortlisted.

The Central Bank expects the platform to support the efforts to boost financial inclusion in Sri Lanka, as well as strengthen the financial sector efficiency.

According to the Central Bank, “The party selected to implement the PoC will neither be prejudiced from applying for any subsequent commercial development of a shared KYC facility that may take place nor would the company obtain any preference due to their engagement in this POC development.”

The project is expected to be completed in six to nine months’ time.

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