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Twenty eight global banks to test Swift blockchain application

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22 banks have joined block chain proof of concept (PoC) which is designed to validate the interbank messaging network Swift. This makes it easy to check whether the technology canhelp in real time or not.

The PoC is part of the Swift gpi initiative to re-arm the correspondent banking system for a new age of technological disruption. 

The banks that have recently joined the PoC include: ABN Amro, Absa, BBVA, Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, China Minsheng Banking, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group Bank, FirstRand Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Bank, Mashreq bank, Nedbank, Rabobank, Société Générale, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, UniCredit and Westpac.

They join a group of six founding banks that will work to test and validate the new blockchain application – based on Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 technology – and evaluate how the technology scales and performs. Results of the tests will be released at the co-operative’s annual user meeting at Sibos in Toronto in October.

Wim Raymaekers, head of banking markets and Swift gpi, says: “This new group of banks allows us to greatly extend the scope of multi-lateral testing of the blockchain application and thus add considerable weight to the findings. We warmly welcome the new banks and look forward to their insights.”

Currently, banks cannot monitor their account positions in real time due to lack of intraday reporting coverage. As such, the PoC recognises the need for banks to receive real-time liquidity data in order to manage funds throughout the business day. 

“The potential business benefits ensuing from the PoC are clear,” says Damien Vanderveken, head of R&D, SwiftLab and UX at Sswift. “If banks could manage their nostro account liquidity in real time, it would allow them to accurately gauge how much money is required in each account at any given point, ultimately enabling them to free up significant funds for other investments.”

In an exclusive video interview with Finextra, Harry Newman, head of banking, Swift, talks about the challenges facing banks in the area of cross-border payments.