Twenty-two more banks have joined SWIFT's blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) to test and validate whether the technology can help banks manage their nostro accounts in real-time.
The new members of the PoC project include: 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, Société Générale, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, UniCredit, and Westpac Banking Corporation.
They will join the six founding banks that are currently working with SWIFT to develop the blockchain application. The founding banks include the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, DBS Bank, RBC Royal Bank, and Wells Fargo.
The PoC, which was launched in January, is part of SWIFT's global payments innovation (gpi) service. It aims to help banks overcome their challenges in monitoring and managing their nostro accounts.
According to SWIFT, banks currently have no way to monitor their account positions in real-time because of lack of intraday reporting coverage. As such, the PoC is being built on the intraday liquidity standard published by SWIFT on Tuesday (4 July 2017).
The standard is comprised of business rules and technical specifications on cash reporting in the interbank space, including nostro and custodian cash accounts. It supports real-time transaction-by-transaction liquidity reporting to solve challenges in real-time reporting, timed confirmations, and data accuracy.
"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," said Damien Vanderveken, head of research and development at SWIFTLab and UX at SWIFT.
SWIFT aims to publish the results of PoC in September and present it at Sibos in Toronto in October.
"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," said Wim Raymaekers, head of Banking Markets and SWIFT gpi at SWIFT.
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