There are blockchain applications in most business sectors, and financial services is increasingly becoming more involved in blockchain. At a fundamental level, the nature of banking means it is well suited to blockchain applications in terms of its core values – cross-border payments, share dealing, and providing the means for customers to buy things. Banks are also concerned with identity, security, and contracts, which are three areas that blockchain technology can also manage.
According to TEKsystems, 99% of banks and investment firms either have interest in or are already experimenting with blockchain technology.
Here are just five examples of blockchain applications in financial services.
Bain & Company partners with top banks to launch Voltron
US-based, Big Three management consulting firm Bain & Company has partnered with several leading finance and technology brands to launch a new blockchain platform called Voltron.
Bain & Company says that the Voltron platform has been designed to help banks leverage commercially viable blockchain solutions that benefit their customers. The launch is also aimed at increasing the security of transactions, with the goal to make transacting letters of credit intent more efficient.
Voltron is described as an open platform for documentary trade, targeting production on R3’s Corda Enterprise blockchain platform.
It will also allow corporate customers to connect with their banks and trading partners via a single, simplified channel, allowing for both the issuance of letters of credit and presentation and the exchange of documents across an open network.
Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB, Standard Chartered, and CryptoBLK are partners in the development of Voltron.
Top EU banks partner with we.trade to facilitate international trade
The digital platform we.trade is built on the IBM blockchain and allows for real-time trade settlement. It features know-your-customer checks as well as smart contracts ensuring automatic payment when an agreement is completed.
It currently has 14 banking partners (it had seven in 2017) and includes heavyweights such as Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale, and Eurobank.
Through this network, corporate customers of the banks can trade across 14 European countries.
Fujitsu launches blockchain banking initiative
Fujitsu has been selected by Japan’s largest banking association to test the use of digital currency and blockchain technology for interbank settlements.
It will be in charge of a field trial of a Collaborative Blockchain Platform developed by the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA). The trial will be conducted by the Japanese banks’ Payment Clearing Network, otherwise known as “Zengin–net”.
Major banks sign on with JPMorgan blockchain initiative
The Interbank Information Network (IIN), which JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Canada, and ANZ have been trialling for the past year, has expanded, with more than 75 banks now involved.
The IIN aims to minimise friction in the cross-border payments process. Using blockchain technology, it reduces the time correspondent banks currently spend responding to compliance and other data-related inquiries that delay payments. The IIN is powered by Quorum, a permissioned-variant of the Ethereum blockchain, developed by JPMorgan.
Japanese banks set to release Ripple-powered MoneyTap app
Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings is gearing up to launch a Ripple-powered mobile payments application called MoneyTap.
MoneyTap is pitched as the first mobile app of its kind to be developed and used by a consortium of multiple different banks in the country. Three members of the aforementioned consortium – SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank, and Resona Bank – will be the first to go live during the autumn. This will be followed by a staggered roll-out to the rest of the consortium.