State Bank Of India Betting On Blockchain Beta Project For KYC Protocol

The State Bank of India (SBI), a state-operated financial entity, announced it will explore blockchain technology as it can be applied to know-your-customer (KYC) protocols and executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs) in a pair of beta programs scheduled to launch next month.

SBI is a founding member of BankChain, a FinTech alliance focused on the advancement of business logic-ready blockchain technology that encompasses 27 banks. Head of innovation at SBI, Sudin Baraokar, said the central bank is inviting others to take part in the project. "By next month, we should have two beta production solutions ready for use by the 27 banks. We will also invite further participation," said Baraokar. "The beta production that will be ready are smart contracts and second is KYC.”

Baraokar spoke of the collaborative value that coalitions like BankChain provide to the ecosystem of financial houses:

“BankChain is a big move. It is getting all banks together and collaborating. It is also de-risking our investment in emerging tech, so that all banks can come and invest at once ... we can also share knowledge and reduce the cost. We can also use each other's technical teams to take this forward. We focused on solutions that the bank does not have ... things like smart contracts, which is not regulatory heavy. We focused on those solutions.”

In the future, Baraokar said, SBI may endeavor to utilize blockchain technology to procure IT solutions.

“Smart contracts can be used for simple things like non-disclosure agreement ... rather than signing forms. A lot of internal processes can be contracted. We do a lot of IT procurement, a lot of it can be implemented using blockchain.”