SBI Savings Bank, by South Korea’s SBI Group, has deployed a new blockchain-based personal authentication service. Called SBI Simple Authentication, the service is now open to the public and was developed in cooperation with domestic blockchain startup Iconloop.
Integrated into SBI Savings Bank’s mobile smart banking application, the service allows users to easily and more securely log in and initiate transfers by using a PIN or fingerprint without a public certificate, security card or one-time password (OTP).
SBI Simple Authentication stores PIN and fingerprint authentication information with consensus among the nodes of the SBI blockchain server (instead of getting proof from certification authorities) and verifies the data integrity through SCORE, a smart contract environment developed by Iconloop, at the time of issuing a certificate.
The solution applies private and public key structure and is compatible with the existing certificate standards by adopting their specifications. It also follows the FIDO standards to support biometric authentication.
According to SBI Savings Bank and Iconloop, blockchain enables enhanced security and makes it impossible to falsify information and misuse certificates, all the while improving user experience.
“The new service based on Iconloop’s blockchain technology is a great opportunity to bolster our competitiveness in financial services,” said Eunhwa Lee, director of SBI Savings Bank’s fintech task force.
“By providing safer and more convenient services, SBI Savings Bank expects to offer new benefits to customers and create new market opportunities. We will introduce various technologies to lead the financial industry and maximize customer satisfaction.”
Iconloop has been working with SBI Savings Bank to apply blockchain technology to personal authentication, electronic document certification and time stamping since November 2018.
Jonghyup Kim, CEO of Iconloop, said the startup will continue to work with the bank on varied applications of blockchain with the goal of providing “differentiating solutions.”
Alongside the newly launched authentication service, SBI Savings Bank is also working a blockchain-based document certification system. Employees are presently uploading file attachments from SBI Groupware boxes, such as draft documents and official notices, to the new system, which confirms that the files are not damaged or tampered with when browsed or downloaded.
Founded in 2016, Iconloop is a blockchain startup based in Seoul and the company behind the ICON blockchain platform. It develops blockchain solutions for financial institutions and has conducted projects together with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the National Election Commission, and Kyobo Life Insurance, among others.
Iconloop was incubated by Dayli Financial Group and is led by computer scientists from Postech, a private research university focusing on science and technology in South Korea.