Sri Lanka's Central Bank Calls for Blockchain-Based KYC Proposals

Sri Lanka's Central Bank wants to use a blockchain system for local banks' "know-your-customer" protocols.

AccessTimeIconDec 2, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:45 a.m. UTC
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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka wants to develop a blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) platform. 

In an open call posted to its website Nov. 29, the bank announced that it is searching for tech companies who can build it a “proof of concept” shared KYC system for its banking industry.

“The increasing demand for digitalised financial services has created an opportunity for Sri Lanka to evaluate the possibility of adopting Blockchain Technology to further advance Sri Lanka’s financial sector,” the bank’s invitation to apply read.

The project appears to be a collaboration between Sri Lanka’s central bank and the Sri Lankan tech sector at large, as it involves “experts” from Sri Lanka’s tech finance and tech industries. 

A “shared KYC” system as outlined by the press release would allow commercial banks and the central government to share and update customer data on a blockchain. 

“It is expected that this would facilitate several potential use-cases that will increase efficiencies in the financial sector,” and “help increase financial inclusion in Sri Lanka,” the release said. 

But the release is otherwise short on details. The bank will share the KYC platform’s “high-level design” with the selected candidate: a company with at least two years of experience and a “proven track record of developing and launching mobile applications.”

The open call comes as Sri Lanka further brings itself on par with global financial regulatory standards. 

In October, it was removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) anti-money laundering/counter the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) “strategic deficiencies” blacklist, indicating that the country had bolstered its defenses since placed on the list in Nov. 2017.

“The FATF welcomes Sri Lanka's significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Sri Lanka has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime,” the global financial watchdog said in October.

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