Blockchain, News & Updates

South Korea’s Mobile Banking App uses Blockchain based ID Authentication

September 7, 2020

For the first time in South Korea, Shinhan Bank commercialized Blockchain-based decentralized identity authentication services (DID). This could potentially replace the public certificates used for financial services, which may include those for mobile banking.

As a recent update mentions:

“The era of ‘self-ownership of data’ has begun, in which people store and manage their own identification information directly on their own phone.”

On September 3, Shinhan Bank, one of South Korea’s largest financial institutions, noted that they have begun piloting a real-name authentication thru their mobile banking app named ‘SOL.’ The ID confirmation process is being carried out via ICONLOOP’s MyID-based DID service, also known as ‘Zzeung,’ introduced last month.

The Decentralized Identity (DID) allows the individual users to provide their identities by retrieving the saved identity information from their smartphones. The information may be submitted directly by the user if required, as an alternative of it being stored with third-parties or agencies.

To use the Shinhan Bank DID service, the customer must install the DID app (Zzeung) then set a password. After this, they can now use the Zzeung app to issue an identity certificate that can be used at Shinhan Bank.

Aside from that, the customers must also complete relevant verification steps through their mobile phone; they must also update their ID card and Shinhan Bank accounts before a DID certificate can be issued.

After the certificate is issued, it may be stored in the Zzeung app and can then be used for authentication, which may be carried out the next time by providing a 6-digit password or fingerprint recognition.

There is no noticeable change from the user’s point of view when using the new platform; this is because they had already been using parallel interfaces where they are also required to enter passwords and do biometric authentication when accessing mobile banking apps.

The head of Shinhan Bank’s Digital R&D Center, Jang Hyun Ki, explained:

“Because this is the first time DID is applied, we are only using it for some services at first. We are considering gradually expanding the use of DID and using it to log in to the banking app.”

He further elaborated:

“Although ordinary users might not be able to feel a big difference, the architectural view that is implemented is completely different. It can be said that DID opens the era of self-sovereignty of personal authentication information like MyID.”

A representative from ICONLOOP has mentioned:

“At the moment, Shinhan Bank was the first to start the DID service, but as the number of issuing agencies increases, it will be more convenient because you can store your authentication information in one app and use it in multiple places.”

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