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Canadian Bank Completes 20-Second Cross-Border Payment

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One of Canada’s largest banks has sent one of the world’s first real-time cross-border payments, it claimed this week.

ATB Financial announced on Thursday (July 14) that it successfully sent a payment of CA$1,000 to Germany using blockchain-based technology supported by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The payment was also fueled by SAP Payment Engine, reports said, as well as blockchain FinTech firm Ripple.

According to ATB, the payment made typically takes up to six business days to complete; the bank managed to complete the transaction in 20 seconds, it said.

“Although we are very much still in the early stages of blockchain adoption, it was highly encouraging to see in a true demonstration the potential it has in transforming cross-border payments, making them almost instantaneous and reducing potential errors,” said ATB Financial Chief Strategy and Operations Officer Curtis Stange in a statement.

“Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform, we’re able to experiment and be nimble with emerging innovations, like blockchain,” he continued. “The next stage for us, working with SAP and Ripple, will be to understand how the front-end experience should work for the benefit of our customers.”

The payment was completed using a prototype developed by SAP and Ripple at ATB Financial, the firms explained. It connects SAP’s cloud platform technology and its Payment Engine application into Ripple’s blockchain network.

SAP also developed a mobile interface for the bank to initiate the payment, reports noted.

In another statement, SAP SE Products & Innovation Member of the Executive Board Bernd Leukert said the success of this initiative demonstrates the benefits of digital banking and innovation.

“ATB’s blockchain transaction underscores the value of running a business on a full-fledged digital core so it can react quickly to emerging possibilities and avoid the threat of disruption,” Leukert said.

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