Companies in the financial sector, as well as governments and enterprises, spend a lot of time, effort, and money verifying the identities of their customers. That’s because the so-called Know Your Customer (KYC) process often relies on outdated technology and inefficient manual processes. AKcess would like to revolutionize the KYC process using its secure digital ID solution for private and commercial use.
The solution takes advantage of blockchain technology (the same technology that powers and secures cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin), using it to immutably store collected user data.
Designed to make both paper and online forms obsolete, AKcess uses nothing but a smartphone app to collect and validate KYC data. The submitted information can then be verified in a number of different ways, such as by taking a selfie or using a third-party verifier. When a user approaches an institution that collects KYC information, he or she can simply share it via AKcess, making onboarding effortless.
“KYC is a major challenge for all financially regulated and unregulated companies, but the bigger challenge is to update the KYC after initial onboarding of a client,” said Nehme AbouZeid, Founding member and Chief Technology Officer of Akcess, in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine. “Using a combination of our mobile app and our blockchain network, we were able to find a solution acceptable to all parties, the regulator and the institutions.”
The blockchain-based digital ID solution could be a boon to banks, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), government organizations, educational institutions, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and more. In other words, its impact could be significant.
AKcess has recently opened offices in Kuwait, and the company also has projects underway in several other countries in the Middle East including Egypt, UAE, and Qatar.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.