SETL, Deloitte and Metro Bank said they have successfully carried out a trial of blockchain for consumer payments. SETL designed a contactless smartcard for digitised payments based on blockchain, which it debuted alongside Deloitte’s Smart Identity blockchain ID. Metro Bank provided the client accounts for the test-run. The trial involved using over a hundred customers, who made purchases with contactless smartcards from merchants who had contactless terminals. SETL reported that the account balances of both the customers and the merchants – held by Metro Bank – were updated in real-time. “The successful implementation of a blockchain smartcard retail payment system offers the possibility of significantly reducing current high costs for processing retail transactions,” SETL said. “In addition, it opens the door to competition in merchant servicing to challenger banks, which are all but excluded from this activity by the incumbent clearing banks.
SETL plans a mass-release of the service in 2017, once it receives regulatory approval. They believe their system can compete favourably with the major credit card companies, with the capacity to process tens of thousands of transactions per second. It also believes this could be done at a fraction of the cost and over a more secure network. SETL said it believes this “to be the first commercial inter-blockchain application demonstrating how portable, cryptographically secured identity might be applied in a real-world consumer environment,” further adding it had the “capacity to process billions of transactions a day with burst speeds in the tens of thousands per second.” Regarding security, SETL said “The use of point to point encryption significantly reduces the possibility of the kind of wholesale data leakage that has impacted the legacy consumer payment infrastructure over the last decades.”