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Crédit Mutuel Arkéa breaks new ground in France with blockchain

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Crédit Mutuel Arkéa blockchainWith blockchain, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa saw an opportunity to make application processes easier for customers and staff by creating a single, cross-business know-your-customer (KYC) platform.

The bank’s numerous divisions had no way of sharing KYC documents. If a customer provided a passport or other identification to open a new life insurance policy with Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s insurance group, Suravenir, that person would have to provide the same information again to do business with the bank’s consumer credit group, Financo.

A leading bank in France, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa has nearly 9,000 employees, 3.6 million customers and EUR 110 billion in total assets. Its history goes back more than 100 years in Brittany and continues today across Europe. The bank has always taken an entrepreneurial and open approach, looking to adopt new strategies and continually develop its capabilities and services.

It makes sense, then, that the bank would be a pioneer in working with blockchain technology.

Juliette Macret, IBM financial services sector business development director with IBM France, offered this insight:

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa applied IBM Design Thinking and agile development methods to turn a simple idea into a strategic, decentralized platform for collaboration. The availability of IBM Blockchain services and DevOps tools on the IBM Bluemix innovation platform was key to accelerating time-to-value during the development phase. As the foundation of a robust system of trust, blockchain technology can help businesses create frictionless business transactions that improve customer satisfaction and employee efficiency.

The potential of this blockchain solution extends beyond Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s own operations. It’s possible that the French bank will be able to take advantage of the blockchain as a system of trust that customers could use to deliver proof of identity to third parties, such as utility companies, retailers and service providers.

“Blockchain is a transformative agent in our operational application, as proven by this project, the first of its kind in France,” says Frédéric Laurent, chief operating officer of innovation and operations at Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. “This pilot offers a complete view of customers’ documents across our distributed network. The project helped us to understand and master blockchain for other client uses. Now, we are ready to incorporate this technology in our ecosystem.”

Curious about blockchain and what it can do for your business? Come to InterConnect, 19 – 23 March, in Las Vegas, session 1518.

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