New feature on Seoul city app may mean less visits to your district office

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New feature on Seoul city app may mean less visits to your district office

A visitor uses a virtual reality headset during a blockchain technology exhibition “NFT Busan 2021” in Bexco, Busan, on Nov. 4. [SONG BONG-GEUN]

A visitor uses a virtual reality headset during a blockchain technology exhibition “NFT Busan 2021” in Bexco, Busan, on Nov. 4. [SONG BONG-GEUN]

 
The Seoul city government introduced a new blockchain-based service that aims to allow people moving homes to obtain necessary administrative documents online without having to visit a bank or respective public offices.
 
The new feature, "Isaon" was added on "Seoul wallet," a digital voucher app for Seoul residents, on Nov. 1.
 
Isaon was made to help in the administrative aspect of moving, including notifying the city of a change in residence or applying for house loans.
  
The app connects to Shinhan Bank’s mobile application, Shinhan SOL, so that the forms from Isaon can be transferred to the bank and used to apply for a loan.
  
“To obtain these forms in person is a nuisance and time-consuming,” said a 44-year-old surnamed Park. “I also don’t feel comfortable visiting a bank because of Covid-19 these days, so I think Seoul city’s new app is really convenient.”
 
Through Isaon, Seoul citizens can quickly obtain a virtual copy of their resident registration certificate; real estate contract; certificate of qualification for health insurance; certificate of full payment of employment insurance; certificate of income; and certificate of business registration.
 
Foreigners in Seoul can use the Isaon service if they have a foreign registration number.
 
“Seoul wallet” does not currently offer its services in English, but an official from Seoul city told the JoongAng Daily that it plans to include language options in the future.
 
Blockchain is an immutable distributed ledger that, in theory, allows for the transparent and secure storage and retrieval of information.

 
This blockchain technology stores and connects Seoul residents’ data throughout different public services, and residents can now take care of their affairs all in one app — in this case, Seoul wallet.
 
Screenshots of Busan's blockchain-based mobile identification service "B PASS." [BUSAN METROPOLITAN CITY]

Screenshots of Busan's blockchain-based mobile identification service "B PASS." [BUSAN METROPOLITAN CITY]

 
More local governments are utilizing blockchain technology to provide public services that are more convenient and safe.
 
Busan on Monday expanded their blockchain-based mobile identification service application “B PASS” to work when paying for public transportation or at automated convenience stores.
 
Now, the city’s residents can use the app instead of carrying rechargeable public transportation cards when they use the city's busses or subways and registering their personal information when using automated convenience stores.
 
Instead, they just scan a QR code that is newly generated from the app each time they need to verify their identity.
 
B PASS has some 7,000 active monthly users since its launch in October 2020.
 
“The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced the need for remote services, so blockchain technology, which can securely maintain records of people’s personal information, has become more important than ever,” said Lee Jun-seung, director of the digital economy innovation department of Busan city. “[Busan city] will further expand its blockchain services so that our citizens can enjoy a more convenient life.”
 
Daegu also provides a similar self-authentication mobile application, “Daegu ID.”
 
Launched in April, the service allows citizens to log into the city’s online public facilities such as the Daegu library and use services including filing a civil complaint, without having to separately log in to or register for each site.
 
Daegu ID uses decentralized identification (DID) technology to store digital IDs of individuals, theoretically lowering the possibility of exploitation or unauthorized use of one’s personal data.
 
Daegu plans to expand its app to cover all public services provided by the city that require personal identification and age verification.
 
“Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that will lead the fourth industrial revolution and bring change to almost all areas,” said Kim Jin-hwan, professor of artificial intelligence and computer science at Yeongsan University.
 
“Politicians and legal experts should work together with blockchain experts to lay a stable foundation for blockchain [to be incorporated smoothly to society].”

BY JANG JOO-YOUNG, LEE JIAN [lee.jian@joongang.co.kr]
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