• 2021-07-27

GMO Sign's My Number Registered Seal enables speedy contracts in Japan first

GMO Sign's My Number Registered Seal enables speedy contracts in Japan first
Same level of identity verification as registered seal ensured just by tapping smartphone with My Number card

 GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K. (President and CEO Mitsuru Aoyama; hereinafter, "GMO GlobalSign HD") , a member of the GMO Internet Group, has newly added a My Number Registered Seal function, which enables identity verification using My Number cards, to the electronic contract service GMO Sign that it develops and operates. Electronic contract services using My Number cards for personal identity verification are unprecedented in Japan, making this service the first of its kind in the country1.

1: It is the first cloud-based electronic contract service in Japan that can provide signatures via AATL (Adobe Approved Trust List) certificates issued by a public certificate authority upon confirmation of identity (Japanese Public Key Infrastructure) with a My Number card.

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【About My Number Registered Seal】

 Using the new My Number Registered Seal function of GMO Sign, the first service of its kind in Japan, will enable users to use a smartphone app and their My Number card to create an electronic signature that is just as trustworthy as registered seals, in a quick and easy manner. The function can be accessed simply by tapping one's My Number card on a smartphone, enabling simple usage without burdening the counterparty to the contract. It also facilitates the introduction of digital technology to situations where registered seals have been required up until now.

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 Until now, when using services requiring strict identity verification, such as opening a bank account, buying real estate, or signing rental agreements, users had to send the service provider actual or copied identity verification papers, such as seal certificates or driving licenses. Such procedures required several days or longer to complete. Using the My Number Registered Seal for these services will allow users to complete the procedures instantly with only their smartphone and their My Number card.

 My Number Registered Seal will be provided as an optional function of GMO Sign. Please check the below website for more details and cost information.

・GMO Sign My Number Registered Seal special website
URL: https: //www.gmosign.com/function/mynumber/

【Background to development】

 In response to the background factors outlined below, GMO GlobalSign HD has launched My Number Registered Seal after focusing on the use of My Number cards as a method for electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) identity verification that can be fully completed online. My Number cards are photo ID documents that citizens can obtain for free that also support eKYC.

■ Growing cost of conventional[A1] identity verification

 With the COVID-19 pandemic spurring on progress in online applications for various services and cashless payments, a new challenge is shifting from conventional face-to-face identity verification to fully-online identity verification with minimal time and cost.

 Currently, in order to complete online procedures for services that require identity verification, such as opening an account at a financial institution or signing a real estate rental agreement, conventional Know Your Customer(KYC) identity verification procedures are necessary. To complete this procedure, the user needs to put a copy of their driving license or other identity document into an envelope and send it, while the company that receives it needs to manually check and match the information to conduct identity verification.

 This kind of identity verification procedure costs time and money for both the applicant and the company receiving the application, and it prevents smooth service usage. The FinTech Vision (URL: https://www.meti.go.jp/committee/kenkyukai/sansei/fintech_kadai/pdf/006_02_00.pdf) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reports that, in a calculation limited to specific industries such as online banking and securities, approximately 1.7 million users a year give up on opening accounts due to these troublesome conventional identity verification procedures and that postage costs amount to at least 4 billion yen a year.

■ Growing identity theft damage on online service

 The popularization of online services has led to a rise in identity theft damage in financial and payment services. In September 2020, there were repeated incidents of damage caused by fraudsters abusing cashless payment services linked to bank accounts with insufficient identity verification procedures to steal other people's identity to open cashless payment accounts, before conducting unauthorized withdrawals of money from other people's bank accounts. Stricter identity verification when using services is therefore desired.

■ Popularization of My Number cards

Usage of My Number cards is rising. Number of My Number Cards Issued by Municipalities (as of July 1, 2021) (URL: https: //www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000759763.pdf) by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications calculates that around one-third of the population has a My Number card, reporting that 34.2% of the national population have been issued with a card.

About GMO Sign

 The electronic contract service GMO Sign (formerly known as GMO Agree) developed and provided by GMO GlobalSign HD has been introduced by over 140,000 companies as of the end of December 2020. With the highest number2 of corporate users of any Japanese electronic contract service, the number of corporate users surpassed 200,000 as of May 2021.

 Supporting party signature type and witness type (business signature type), as well as hybrid types that combine the two, the provided electronic contract services are both easy to use and provide strong evidence.

 GMO Sign has launched "Goodbye Seal Impression: Digitalize 100 Million Project" (URL: https: //www.gmosign.com/go_dx/) as a demonstration experiment of electronic contracts for both private companies and, from January 2021, local authorities. As of July 16, 2021, 75 local authorities around Japan participate. On Friday January 29, 2021, Local Autonomy Law enforcement regulations were partially revised3, enabling local authorities to use the party signature type and witness type (business signature type) of GMO Sign. Sanjo City in Niigata Prefecture (mayor: Ryo Takizawa) subsequently became the first local authority in Japan to introduce a private electronic contract service in March 2021 when it decided4 to adopt and introduce GMO Sign.

 Additionally, GMO GlobalSign HD has rolled out its GlobalSign electronic authentication service globally since 2007, primarily through its consolidated subsidiary GMO GlobalSign K.K. (hereinafter "GMO GlobalSign"), via branch offices in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore, the Phillipines, India, Russia, and Dubai. The service has been purchased by a variety of governments and large corporations.

 GMO GlobalSign started providing services in Belgium in 1996, when electronic authentication services first emerged, and is the first trusted third-party certification authority6 to obtain WebTrust5 in Europe. With an extensive track record among Belgian government-related organizations, GMO GlobalSign provides certification for the Belgian Government Certification Authority, which is the highest-level certification authority of the Belgian e-government project, including for eID (BELPIC)7, which is the Belgian equivalent of My Number.

 Leveraging the expertise gained from efforts to ensure the safe popularization of digital certificates and electronic contracts, GMO GlobalSign HD will contribute to the digital transformation of Japan by providing a wide range of safe services encompassing everything from electronic contract services for transations by private Japanese companies to authentication services for local authority procedures.

2: The number of companies that have introduced "GMO Sign," which supports either the "party signature type" or the "witness type (business signature type)" as of December 31, 2020. One business operator (company or individual) is counted as one account. Duplicate accounts are excluded.
3: Kanpou (issued January 29, 2021)
URL: https: //kanpou.npb.go.jp/old/20210129/20210129h00422/20210129h004220005f.html
4: Sanjo City to become the first Japanese local authority to introduce the electronic contract service of GMO GlobalSign HD! (issued March 22, 2021)
URL: https: //www.gmogshd.com/news/press/gmo-hs/210322_3148.html
5: An international electronic commercial transaction certification authority audit program conducted by Deloitte (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited), one of the Big Four auditing firms, based on audit standards jointly developed by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
6: An organization that issues electronic certificates, which are required for encrypted communication in transactions on the Internet. When certificates are issued, it is confirmed and guaranteed that the identity and organization of the person on the network are real.
7: A national ID card project launched as part of the Belgian e-government project. ID cards with a digital certificate are distributed to all Belgian citizens aged 12 and over.

About GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K.

GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K. (TSE: 3788) is a full-service IT infrastructure provider focused on cloud solutions. Established as a hosting company in 1996, the company has managed servers for more than 130,000 businesses and now has 6,700 sales partners throughout Japan. In February of 2011, the company launched GMO Cloud to enhance its focus on cloud-based solutions. Since 2007, the company has also grown its GlobalSign SSL security brand through offices in Belgium, U.K., U.S., China and Singapore. For more information please visit https://www.gshd.com/english/.