B2B Payments

Italy Completes Blockchain Interbank System Trials

The Italian Banking Association announced the completion of testing of its interbank system developed on blockchain, CoinTrust reports said Thursday (Oct 4).

A group of 14 banks, which makes up the Italian Banking Association (ABI), is targeting accelerated payment processing times as well as heightened transparency into transaction and bank data. The project, dubbed “Spunta Project,” also integrates authentication and data transfer, reports noted, citing Italian news publication Corriere Nazionale.

There are 14 notes in the blockchain framework spread across the banks. Tests successfully facilitated 1.2 million transactions between the financial institutions (FIs). Following the success of the trials, the consortium plans to begin implementing the technology into the banks’ daily operations.

The initiative was designed on R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology, which has been used by other financial institutions around the globe for their own blockchain initiatives.

Interbank payments have emerged as a popular focus for bank and FinTech innovators as they explore how to make a legacy strategy that moves money across borders more transparent for banks, payers and payees.

Earlier this year, another group of 39 FIs tested a Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance app developed on the Corda blockchain. According to R3 CEO David E. Rutter, demand for blockchain-based KYC solutions are on the rise. The project, which was tested in June, demonstrated “how blockchain can allow institutions to retain control of and manage their own identity,” he said.

Other blockchain initiatives include the Interbank Information Network, a group of more than 70 banks — with its most recent members joining from Santander, JPMorgan and Société Générale — testing the use of blockchain to accelerate payments while maintaining accuracy and compliance.

Elsewhere, Standard Chartered recently announced that it is working with Siemens Financial Services and TradeIX to pilot a blockchain-based smart guarantees solution to facilitate digital trade finance. Standard Chartered said it plans to complete the pilot by the end of this year.

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