KUBE: Blockchain technology to combat fraud in Belgium

By Trusted Magazine editorial team.


Allowing financial institutions to share company data as part of the "Know Your Customer" process is the main objective of the "KUBE" platform launched by four Belgian banks: Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium and KBC. The memorandum of understanding was signed between these banks last February. KUBE is a blockchain application that facilitates the verification and maintenance of corporate identity for both companies and banks. It thus speeds up the service to companies, while intensifying the fight against fraud and money laundering. Indeed, to prevent money laundering and fraud, banks are required to regularly check the identity of directors and major shareholders when opening a corporate account.


From now on, they will be able to share this information with each other via this application. It should be noted that the verification of professional clients is imposed by the European directive against money laundering (Anti-Money Laundering or AML). "For banks and their customers, it is a time-consuming process that is carried out individually for each bank and must be repeated frequently. In order to simplify this operation for all parties involved, the four Belgian banks and Isabel Group have created a platform that allows the sharing of company identification data", explains a joint press release. This solution also aims to simplify the process for the customer, who from now on will only have to enter his data once on the platform. These data will then be verified and validated by the bank. They will then be shared securely between the affiliated organisations. "When a company opens an account with another bank, the KYC process is accelerated as the required data is already available. As a result, the company will be able to open accounts without any paperwork or delays. In addition, changes to company data will also be shared, so that the affiliated banks have the most up-to-date information available at all times," says the same source.

Why KUBE? These initials stand for "Know Your Customer Utility for Banks and Enterprises". It is a secure and decentralised database based on blockchain technology. This makes the Belgian financial sector the first to use this technology on a large scale for business identification. "The development of KUBE is an important step in the pursuit of administrative simplification in our country...Not only will banks use this data source to help prevent criminal activities, but the identification process and data maintenance will now be more efficient for customers," explains Jean de Crane, CEO of Isabel Group. Isabel Group developed the KUBE platform for its own payment activities and on behalf of Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium and KBC. In the future, other banks will also be able to join the platform.

What is the blockchain?

A blockchain makes it possible to share data without anyone owning it. Each participant in the blockchain has an identical version of the data and can complete the information. The decentralised nature of the database makes the platform more secure. In addition, the data is encrypted, making it compliant with financial sector controls. In this sense, the definition of Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of the book "The Blockchain Revolution" in 2016, is noteworthy. They state that "The Blockchain is an incorruptible digital record of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not only financial transactions but potentially anything of value.»

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