South Korea’s Shinhan Bank has announced the introduction of a blockchain system that replaces the manual verification process of documents, according to a report by CNB Journal.
The blockchain system has been applied to the Shinhan Doctor Loan product aimed at medical professionals and considerably reduces the time spent to verify documents such as certificates of employment from two to three days, to real time, speeding up the processing time of loan approval.
A Shinhan Bank official said the introduction of the blockchain system will allow the bank to launch a range of digital products as it looks to expand accessibility and offer greater convenience.
The launch follows several blockchain initiatives Shinhan Bank has undertaken over the past 12 months. Blockchain Lab, a special strategy-oriented research body within Shinhan Bank, was tasked to train company officials on the potential of blockchain to improve customer services. And last year, the bank initiated a project to implement blockchain-based work processes as part of its digital transformation push. CEO Wi Sung-ho said the technology can decrease human error and improve efficiency.
“Prior to the blockchain-based process, there had been no standardized rules governing keeping and managing financial records, a reason why market participants had to rely on their own records which often times led to errors despite the cross-checking process requirement,” a Shinhan official said.
“The new system helps remove such human errors and helps improve work efficiency through clearer, task-related communications rather than wasting time on correcting mistakes. The program will be expanded after it proves to be stable. We will continue to develop new technology that can be put in place for various departments.”
Banks in South Korea have stepped up their blockchain activities. IBK Bank has teamed up with Terra, a stablecoin project, to develop “payment services that consumers can actually experience,” according to Terra’s CEO Shin Hyun-seung. Woori Bank is currently working on a blockchain initiative that would allow customers to exchange currencies as well as make cash withdrawals at airport drive-through restaurants, fast food outlets, stores and parking lots. The initiative will begin in October this year. KEB Hana and KB are co-developing a blockchain-powered real estate platform.