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October 26, 2016

Blockchain in banks – nine in ten are testing

Major survey reveals testing and challenges to fuller adoption.

By Hannah Williams

According to a report from Accenture, nine out of 10 banking professionals have said their company is currently exploring the use of blockchain technology for banks payments.

70 percent of banks are still in the early stages of adoption, with 13 percent still “looking into the technology.”

The respondents, who were surveyed at large U.S. European and Canadian commercial banks, specified the initiatives are designed to reduce costs, speed payments, reduce errors and drive new revenues.

Thirty percent of banks are in the advanced stages of adopting blockchain technology for payments, with executives indicating that they are either “at the forefront of the revolution” or “engaged in production implementation.”

blockchainThe report, titled ‘Blockchain technology: How banks are building a real-time global payment network’ circulated based on a survey of 32 top commercial banking professionals. It was designed to assess their views on the potential of blockchain technology to transform the payments business.

Richard Lumb, Group chief executive, Financial Services at Accenture said: “Cross-border payments are ripe for innovation using blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.”

“The technology could resolve inefficiencies and friction that have long driven up the costs- and the time- required to move money around the world.”

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The survey found that the most prevalent use cases for blockchain technology within payments are intra-bank cross-border transfers, with a secondary focus on cross-border remittances, corporate payments and inter-bank cross-border transfers.

blockchainRichard Lumb added: “Blockchain has proven its scalability to support such infrastructure, and as the industry sets its focus on developing the networks, business processes and standards needed to run these systems, payments could be one of the first major providing grounds for enterprise blockchain adoption.”

In regards to its challenges, 50 percent of bank executives surveyed say they recognise the challenges associated with integrating and implementing blockchain technology, this being due to regulatory and compliance concerns that have caused internal resistance to blockchain adoption.

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