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August 1, 2017

Blockchain could save financial services $20 billion, say execs

Despite all the excitement and positivity, less than half of financial services executives have a plan for implementing blockchain.

By Tom Ball

Over 90% of financial services executives have said that blockchain technology will be critical or important to the future of their firms, with 75% expecting more than a 5% revenue growth from its use.

Revenue growth of this size could be equivocal to $20 billion in savings for these financial services firms, with areas such as compliance, securities and cross-border payments being streamlined.

The research, from Cognizant who polled 1,500 FS executives, represents an extremely positive outlook on the arrival of blockchain.

However, the research also notes that only 48% of executives have a substantial plan for implementing the technology, and that 94% underestimate the cultural changes also required in the process.

Lata Varghese, VP and Leader, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Consulting Practice at Cognizant, said: “From opening new markets, to increasing cross-selling opportunities and even creating entirely new business models, financial firms that move quickly on blockchain, realising the cost advantage while successfully providing added-value services, will triumph over their competition.”

Blockchain could save financial services $20 billion say executives

The study also found that 40% of respondents believe that blockchain will enhance risk management, 46% expect greater transparency, and 47% foresee improved data management.

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“To see the substantial benefits blockchain can deliver, firms cannot afford to wait for the fragmented blockchain landscape to converge and business applications to become clearer. Businesses need to move aggressively need to re-evaluate their business models and face-up to the culture change required to collaborate with external partners in the business world of blockchain. Businesses that are slow to pick up on opportunities to apply blockchain to their business will find themselves left behind as the industry moves on without them,” said Varghese.

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Excitement surrounding blockchain technology is at an all-time high, as consortiums comprised of the biggest companies in the world such as Accenture and Microsoft  are engaged in working on its implementation. Numerous partnerships are also working together to test it out, one example of this involves IBM and shipping company Maersk.

CBR learnt from financial services professionals at UBS that the widespread implementation the world is expecting is still a long way off, however, we could expect robust cases within the next two years.

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