Cambridge Blockchain has formed a strategic alliance with IHS Markit through which the companies will offer integrated reference data, operations, and software to support utilities for the collection and management of know-your-customer (KYC) information.
KYC costs can exceed $500 million annually for large banks. Strict data privacy rules such as the European General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") additionally limit the ability to access validated customer identity attributes, with potential fines up to €20 million or 4% of worldwide revenues. The combination of IHS Markit's kyc.com services with Cambridge Blockchain's distributed digital identity system resolves the competing challenges of transparency and privacy, resulting in faster customer onboarding, lower costs, and enhanced compliance through a single, trusted and consistent view of customer reference data.
Launched by IHS Markit in 2014, kyc.com serves 17 global banks and over 140,000 registered legal entities. The service provides standardized operations for client onboarding and due diligence, with a rigorous industry policy standard for KYC data quality and completeness. Cambridge Blockchain's software complements IHS Markit's solutions by offering secure, client-controlled peer-to-peer data sharing and a platform to connect multiple identity validators. The companies' combined offerings are designed to enable full compliance with stringent data privacy rules including GDPR, said a statement.
"The creation of utilities and other consortia to help financial institutions address the challenges of KYC has great potential improve standards and practices," said Guy Harrison, managing director and head of KYC Services at IHS Markit. "However, for firms to operate efficiently on a global scale, identity data need to be highly portable. With this in mind, we are pleased to work with Cambridge Blockchain to apply the benefits of distributed ledger technology to a robust KYC data collection, validation and management process."
"IHS Markit's existing strengths in bilateral and centralized KYC data sharing make the company an ideal partner to offer new distributed digital identity systems," remarked Matthew Commons, CEO of Cambridge Blockchain. "We look forward to continuing our collaborating with IHS Markit to give financial institutions confidence that their KYC, AML, tax, legal, MiFID, EMIR and other regulatory information is complete, accurate and up-to-date."