Because a former Visa exec has joined a blockchain security startup in U.K.

Kevin Jenkins, former CEO of Visa, UK and Ireland, joined the board of Fintech Nuggets based in London to oversee the development of the blockchain-based security business provider as he enters the massive payment market furniture in Asia.

Jenkins, who will be a non-executive director of Nuggets, joined Visa in May 2007 and became CEO from January 2014 until his departure in May 2018. At Visa, he helped raise revenue of the company to over £ 1 billion and was responsible for overseeing the implementation of contactless card acceptance in the UK, Nuggets, which launched in 2016, is based in London and operates in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

Jenkins brings his many years of experience in banking and payments to Nuggets.

  Kevin Jenkins, a non-executive director of Nuggets

Kevin Jenkins, a non-executive director of Nuggets and former CEO of Visa U.K. and Ireland.

"Fintech can not operate in isolation, and the reality is that consumers, even if they do not always love their banks, still trust them," he said. "So any fintech needs to find a way to get access to millions of consumers with bank accounts, which involves working with existing banking operators, in fact, the most innovative banks, buyers, payment service providers and dealers are forming JV with fintech. "

Zero principle of conservation of knowledge
Following the scandal on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on the processing of consumer data, there is a growing interest in consumers who are able to check their data and determine how, where and indeed if it is stored and shared.

Nuggets technology allows consumers to create a single biometric tool for verification of access, payment and identity, without sharing or storing private data, not even with Nuggets. Its CEO and co-founder, Alastair Johnson, said that since Nuggets uses a private blockchain controlled by each user, Nuggets does not have backdoor access to the credentials of the user IDs and does not store their data on its own server. "Our policy is that Nuggets has zero storage ID for its users," he said.

Johnson had the idea of ​​Nuggets after his credit card was compromised.

"I had the painful task of contacting the various companies that had my credit card filed and updating them with my new card number," Johnson said. "I thought there must be a better way than this."

Users can access bank accounts and make payments online on smartphones and desktop PCs using their Nuggets ID without sharing any personal information such as credit card numbers or passwords. When registering for a Nuggets ID, they must take a selfie on their smartphone and scan a government-issued photo ID as a driving license in the Nuggets app. They can register credit or debit cards with their ID Nuggets, which uses tokenization technology for payment transactions.

"We can work with proprietary tokens from different payment gateways, or with open standard tokens, and we have our tokenization protocols," Johnson said.

The company took its name from the word used by Johnson when he founded the company, to explain how "the nuggets" of personal data are encrypted in a zero-known archive in a blockchain. "When you decide to share data, the platform only shares the smallest" nugget "of information needed to complete the transaction," he said.

In June 2017, Nuggets was among 24 fintechs chosen by the Financial Conduct Authority to participate in the second phase of testing its UK regulatory sandbox

A global opportunity
Nuggets received the support of the Department of Commerce and Industry of the Government of the United Kingdom, which included him on an export tour of UK companies in China. A direct consequence of this visit occurred in June 2018, when Nuggets announced a technology partnership with QFPay, the Chinese payment processor used by the Asian e-commerce giants Alipay and WeChat.

Johnson said that QFPay, which has processed over 500 million mobile payment transactions to date, will be able to offer Nuggets payment and identity management to its Asian business customers.

Nuggets is also looking to enter the massive India -payments market, Johnson said. The company was selected to participate in the first phase of the Access India program, an Indian government initiative led by the Indian High Commission in London to encourage SMEs with innovative technologies to enter the Indian market.

Jenkins joined the startup because he felt that Nuggets played a key role in the digital ID space that Jenkins was involved with the company.

"I'm seeing more and more of my colleagues in the payments industry moving into the fintech sector for various reasons," he said. "It's partly because there are big opportunities, because payment systems and existing schemes will be interrupted due to regulatory initiatives like PSD2 and open access to data." My perspective is that what Nuggets developed using blockchain is something that does not It has been solved in the past.The whole concept of storing personal information on centralized databases is a broken model. "

The PSD2 requirements will impose further strains on existing payment authentication methods, said Jenkins. From September 2019, under PSD2, the EU will require "strong customers" authentication (two-factor authentication) for online card payments.A strong customer authentication is aimed at reducing fraud by confirming the & # 39; Customer approval of all significant transactions

"Many banking rules such as KYC and the obligation to keep documents for seven years before the digital age", h told Jenkins, "they could not reach it, another problem is that e-commerce has arrived, not because the banks created it, but because merchants and consumers have started to make online transactions and the banking sector has had to adapt Therefore, the existing security checks are inadequate. "

The Advantage of Using Nuggets for Strong Client Authentication vs. Existing Two-factor techniques are that Nuggets does not require users to verify their ID by typing in personal data, because they are already authenticated thanks to the use of Nuggets, Johnson said. "Existing payment systems will find this new requirement very difficult," he said

.] Jenkins noted that his discussions over the past 18 months with administrators Delegates from UK banks have shown that they are concerned about the risks downstream of open banking, in particular unintended consequences of providing open access to customer data.

"Standard protocols to protect bank data , which are designed for more closed systems, are entering a different environment as a result of open banking, "said Jenkins." I think the blockchain and decentralized ledger po they can give banks better protection in the new era of open banking. "

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