Know Your Customer (KYC) designates the process through which the identity of an individual is checked and verified. KYCs are standard and mandatory procedures for many financial services where fraud, money laundering or terrorism are the obvious risks to mitigate.
With the advent of the web economy, many other actors now need to set up KYC procedures to register their users. For example, Airbnb checks their hosts IDs in order to ensure security of the guests. But any platform renting goods has to go through this process (e.g. car renters and Uber-like services check driving licences). In other words, KYC credentials are now omnipresent.
A reliable KYC process comes with two main inconvenients: 1. It costs a lot of money: up to tens of dollars per subject to check. 2. It’s cumbersome for the individual who needs to run after different kinds of papers, and to send some high quality photos or arrange an interview.
Using Integrity alleviates these two problems. Here’s how it works:
- Patrik, the prover, opens a bank account. By doing so, he provides all the necessary documents such as: a national ID card and a proof that he receives mail at a certain address.
- Once the documents have been verified and the bank account is open, the bank digitally signs a certificate that contains Patrik’s identity and address.
- Now when Patrik wants to rent a good, he downloads and opens his favorite rental app, and clicks on “Connect with Integrity” to prove his identity. This third-party service can verify the validity of the claim and rely on this information, rather than starting the whole verification process all over again.
- A few months later, Patrik sets up a company and will use the Integrity Connect button, once again. To create his admin entity, Patrik needs to prove his identity. Again, the KYC verified data can be reused in one click, thanks to the verified credentials stored in the Integrity app. During his whole digital life, Patrik can get and reuse such verified information.
Let’s have a look at the advantages for each of the three parties involved:
- KYC Issuer: can now monetise a mandatory process, hence turning an operation cost into a business opportunity.
- User (Subject): can reuse earned credentials in a few clicks, without having to go through a cumbersome verification every time a KYC procedure is needed.
- Verifier (Relying Party): can cut verification costs and reduce friction, thus boosting conversions (identities get verified in a few clicks, just by sharing an existing credential). Last but not least: there is of course a revocation list to lookup any certificate that would have been invalidated, but it is decentralized via a blockchain: therefore, the verifier does not need to interact with the issuer to verify the claim.