ARV, IBM build national digital corporate ID system for Thailand

AI & Robotics Ventures, a subsidiary of Thai firm PTT Exploration and Production, is launching a blockchain-based National Digital Corporate Identity (NCID) platform developed in collaboration with IBM. 

The platform will reduce the time it takes for corporate onboarding, also known as Know Your Customer (KYC), at banks. 

By improving the identity verification of corporate authorised signatories, what used to be a paper-intensive process that could take more than four weeks to complete, is reduced to less than a week. The swifter and leaner process will offer more opportunities for banks and corporates to engage in opportunities which otherwise would have been discouraged due to existing KYC processes.

The NCID platform, the first-of-its-kind digital corporate identity system in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, incorporates Thailand’s Electronic Transaction Development Agency (ETDA) standards of self-sovereign identity on public blockchain and secure cryptographic key encryption. 

Developed on IBM Cloud and Red Hat OpenShift, the platform is secured by the industry’s highest FIPS 140-2 Level 4 security certification, implementing the Keep-Your-Own-Key concept to support future scale and expansion.

“Today marks an important milestone where multiple parties, from government agencies, regulators to PTTEP and its banking partners, collaborate to uncover and tackle the bottle-neck challenges of the corporate onboarding process with Web3 technology,” said Sinthu Satawiriya, head of ventures at ARV. 

“We believe that the platform and its system will revolutionise the access to digital finance for the entire juristic community across Thailand’s financial and business ecosystem in the near future, in alignment with the Smart Financial Infrastructure effort and ecosystem currently led by the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Thailand,” he said.

Sawat Asdaron, managing director of IBM Thailand and managing partner of IBM Consulting said this blockchain-based digital ID platform will bring transformational impact, as not only does it speed up processing time markedly, but also will lead to the standardisation of corporate identity verification process for banks in Thailand and support the journey towards comprehensive digital infrastructure of our country.

The system will go live on the ASEAN’s first-of-its-kind joint sandbox set up by the ETDA and the Bank of Thailand this year. It will be first used by PTTEP and its banking partners for corporate KYC for treasury and bank accounts.

As the anchor of the network, PTTEP has collaborated with Bank of Thailand, Electronic Transaction Development Agency and their more than 11 partner banks to pilot the platform via ARV.