Shinhan bank launches blockchain-based mobile banking

A Decentralised ID system allows users to retrieve their identity information from their smartphones without relying on third parties or agencies

Shinhan Bank Building, next to the KCCI in Seoul.
This is the first use case wherein blockchain-based DID could potentially replace public certificates used for financial services.

Shinhan Bank, one of South Korea’s largest financial institutions, has started using a real name authentication process through its mobile banking app called the SOL. The ID verification process is made possible through ICONLOOP’s MyID-based DID service, the “Zzeung”, which was launched last month.

Decentralized identity authentication services (DID) allow users to undergo identity verification by retrieving saved identity information from their smartphones. This can be submitted directly to the user whenever it is needed, instead of having to rely on third parties or agencies to store the information.

This use case, which could see DID replacing public certificates that are used in financial services for mobile banking, has been commercialized for the first time by Shinhan Bank.

To start using the Shinhan Bank DID service,  customers need to install the ZZeung app and set a unique password. Once this is completed, they can start using the Zzeung app to issue an identity certificate that can be used at Shinhan Bank.

In this process, the bank is responsible for issuing the certificate, and it is issued by means of moving to Shinhan Bank’s mobile web banking app.

Customers are required to complete the relevant verification steps on their mobile phones and update their ID cards as well as their Shinhan Bank before they can get their DID identity certificate.

After the certificate is issued, it is stored in the Zzeung app and can be used for authentication. Users can access it by providing a 6-digit password or using fingerprint recognition.

The Zzeung app is built like a digital wallet platform that can also store issued ID certificates. If there are other service providers apart from Shinhan Bank that plan on issuing certificates, then the app ensures that there is one place to store all the certificates.

The Head of Digital R&D Center at Shinhan Bank, Jang Hyun Ki, stated that the DID system will only be used for some services in the meantime. However, the bank is considering the gradual expansion of DID across other financial services in the future.

Jang added that changes have been made in the architectural view that is implemented, saying that DID has jumpstarted “an era of self-sovereignty of personal authentication information like MyID.”

A representative from ICONLOOP has stated that while Shinhan Bank is the first and only bank thus far to start using the DID service, the app will be able to ensure convenience for users in the long run as the number of issuing agencies increase.

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