Launched in April 2020 as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program, GRIDS seeks to facilitate the cross-border acceptance of e-identification and remote know-your-customer (KYC) processes. It aims to enable banks to identify consumers digitally, in compliance with anti-money laundering and data protection regulations, making full use of the electronic identification and authentication tools provided by eIDAS.
Today fewer than 3% of European consumers purchase banking products such as credit cards, current accounts or mortgages from another Member State. When it comes to consumer credit, Europeans buy only 5% of their loans from abroad. In addition, there is still limited support to verify Legal Persons using the eIDAS nodes in operation, and only unclear or basic legal support at the national level to facilitate the integration of private sector service providers with eIDAS.
GRIDS will simplify the online remote onboarding of individual and business customers, in particular SMEs, while specifically allowing business platforms to enlarge their cross-border customer base. It will provide access to a secure digital environment where transaction participants are reliably identified and authenticated, while personal data protection principles are enforced and embedded in the interoperable frameworks.
“In a nutshell, thanks to GRIDS European businesses will be able to engage online new customers across Europe in a secure and reliable way, leveraging eIDAS infrastructure and reducing KYC costs” mentioned Juan Carlos Pérez Baun, GRIDS project coordinator.
GRIDS consortium consists of five partners from Spain (Atos, coordinator), Italy (InfoCert), Greece (Adacom, University of the Aegean) and Austria (kompany). This consortium is developing an electronic one-stop-shop solution for a complete and accurate KYC screening. It includes not only company information and documents (name, registration number, country/jurisdiction, court or legal form) but also the identification of legal and natural persons, through effective access to the cross-border functionalities of a well-established eID DSI and eIDAS core service platform.
GRIDS will achieve this by operating a business infrastructure that facilitates and reduces the cost of KYC operations. It will establish a business network in the form of a Single-Sign-On (SSO) federation, between KYC providers (Data Providers), their customers from financial, telecommunications and e-commerce industries (Data Consumers) and the clients of those industries (Data Subjects). The project will validate the technologies and solutions developed using three real-life cross border pilots:
- KYC data for Legal Entities Identifiers (LEI) checks: Integration of eIDAS based eID services to the existing LEI check mechanisms which enables signing authority data verification for WM Datenservice, a local unit operator issuing LEIs in more than 10 EU countries, ultimately leading to significant time savings
- Onboarding of business accounts by banks and other financial institutions: Provision of eIDAS-based eID information on directors and officers acting as a legal entity together with KYC data for Raiffeisen Bank International, by which kompany simplifies the onboarding processes of their business accounts while minimizing the risk of fraud and time spent on identification processes
- KYC checks for other business sectors: Provision of comprehensive KYC data as well as Sanctions, PEPs and Adverse Media screenings for Advokat, an Austrian-based company, which offers legaltech services via their legaltech platform.