A national banking group in South Korea is to roll out a blockchain-based ID verification system for domestic commercial banks in just weeks.
According to a notice revealed on Monday by the Korea Federation of Banks (KFB), the new system – dubbed BankSign – is scheduled to be launched in July following a testing phase that began in April of this year.
Built on top of Nexledger, a private blockchain platform developed by Samsung's enterprise solution division, BankSign will offer local banks an option to replace the existing ID verification system that has been in place for decades in South Korea, the KFB said.
Founded in 1984, the KFB represents commercial banks in South Korea, with notable members including Shinhan and Woori banks – institutions that have also been exploring blockchain-based cross-border remittances for business customers.
The new blockchain ID service, which will be available for both online and mobile banking according to the KFB, marks one of the first efforts by commercial banks in South Korea to make blockchain applications available for general consumers.
According to Korea JoongAng Daily, the KFB has formed a banking blockchain consortium with domestic financial institutions in November 2017, after which the exploration of an alternative authentication system had already begun.
The report added the beta testing of BankSign started in April after the South Korean government had lifted its mandate that banks must use the traditional system, allowing the banking industry freedom to adopt more streamlined services.