Professional services firm Ernst & Young, or EY, has announced it is preparing to launch a new identification management model for one of its Australian clients.
The system is to be based on blockchain technology, and represents one of the earliest official endorsements of the technology in a commercial setting from any of the Big Four.
The platform is designed to help their client in onboarding and obtaining relevant ID verification, in the hope of speeding up the onboarding process and improving both the efficiency and efficacy of their information handling.
Based on the ethereum network, an open-source platform for blockchain developers, the system has already been praised by the firm’s management, heralding its arrival as one of the most significant to stem from their research and development in this area.
Michael Maloney, on behalf of the Financial Services practice at EY, said the system shows the strong potential tied up in the blockchain, and in developments on the ethereum network in particular.
“It’s probably our most robust ethereum development to date. It really highlighted a lot of the promise of the ethereum network.”
The system began life in November 2016, and was developed over a period of six weeks, according to company insiders. Designed to comply with Know Your Customer protocols, the system obtains, records and stores customer identification information in a secure way, via the distributed ledger.
The distributed ledger is a core element of blockchain technology, allowing for decentralized transactional recording and data storage. It is this, in part, that provides blockchain with its high security features, while allowing for the more efficient processing of essential data across a number of industries.
Financial services has been one of the first industries to fully embrace the potential of the blockchain, which already powers digital currencies like the bitcoin. Investment banks in particular could stand to save billions of dollars annually from viable blockchain models, in terms of meeting compliance costs and reducing inherent transactional risk.
According to EY, the field of customer identity remains one of the most promising deployments for this type of technology. Its rollout will no doubt be closely monitored by others in the sector, including those eyeing up their own model for customer verification over the blockchain in the near future.