SWIFT Testing Use of Blockchain for its Corporate Communications

SWIFT, blockchain, pilot, Symbiont

Financial messaging services provider SWIFT is running a pilot project that is testing the use of Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain platform to more efficiently communicate corporate actions. 

In this project, the smart contracts and blockchain capabilities of Symbiont’s Assembly platform are being used to further automate and boost the accuracy of corporate action workflows, according to a Tuesday (Sept. 13) blog post on the SWIFT website. 

“By bringing Symbiont’s Assembly and smart contracts together with SWIFT’s extensive network, we’re able to automatically [harmonize] data from multiple sources of a corporate action event,” SWIFT Chief Innovation Officer Tom Zschach said in the post. “This can lead to significant efficiencies.” 

Currently, when publicly-traded companies share news of corporate actions with stakeholders, they depend on manual processes. Beyond that, there are many intermediaries involved in passing along the information, the post stated. 

For these reasons, recipients of the information often receive it with data that’s inaccurate or missing, so they must clean it up, according to the post. 

“According to our analysis, manual activities — such as data cleansing, formatting and interpretation — account for around 30% of the costs involved in processing corporate actions,” SWIFT Strategy Director Jonathan Ehrenfeld said. “That’s why we are collaborating with our community to deliver a solution that delivers accurate corporate action data to market participants in near real time.” 

The solution using the Symbiont platform is being tested by a group of pilot participants who will provide feedback in September. If the test is successful, SWIFT will consider having it produced for the wider SWIFT community. 

Read more: SWIFT Launches AI Tool to Predict Cross-Border Payment Problems 

The pilot project announcement comes about two weeks after SWIFT rolled out a predictive data intelligence tool that identifies potential problems with cross-border transactions before payments are sent. 

As an expanded feature of SWIFT’s Payment Pre-validation service, this solution is available to banks via an application programming interface (API). 

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