An additional 22 banks across the globe have joined SWIFT’s blockchain proof of concept (PoC), which forms part of SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) for cross-border payments.
The recent sign ups are ABN AMRO Bank, ABSA Bank, BBVA, Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, China Minsheng Banking, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group Bank, FirstRand Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Lloyds Bank, Mashreq bank, Nedbank, Rabobank, Societe Generale, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, UniCredit and Westpac.
The PoC aims to assess whether the blockchain technology can facilitate real-time reconciliation of banks’ international nostro accounts. At present, banks are unable to monitor account positions in real time owing to lack of intraday reporting coverage.
Currently, SWIFT is developing a blockchain application alongside six founding banks as part of the PoC.
In developing the PoC, SWIFT is making use of the Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 technology to ensure privacy of data associated with nostro/vostro accounts, allowing only the account owner and its correspondent banking partner to view the data.
The latest banks joining the PoC will act independently of the founding banks and help in further testing and validation of the application.
The PoC blockchain application will be trialled in the coming months, with the results expected to be released in September 2017.
SWIFTLab head of R&D and Swift UX Damien Vanderveken said: “The potential business benefits ensuing from the PoC are clear. 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.”