SWIFT adds 22 Banks to its Blockchain Trial for Cross Border Payments

SWIFT announced the addition of 22 global banks to the POC Blockchain Cross Border Payment endeavour that was initially founded by 6 banks in early April 2017. SWIFT is using Hyperledger Fabric for the Blockchain trial which is aimed at enabling banks to reconcile their international nostro accounts in real-time. Nostro accounts enable banks to deposit money in designated nostro accounts around the world. These accounts facilitate international money transfers with recipients’ destination accounts receiving deposits from geographically-nearby nostro accounts.

According to Damien Vanderveken, head of R&D of SWIFTLab and user experience at SWIFT, “ If banks could manage their nostro account liquidity in real time, it would allow them to accurately gauge how much money is required in each account at any given point, ultimately enabling them to free up significant funds for other investments.

The SWIFT-developed blockchain will be developed with a combination of the recently released Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 and ‘key SWIFT assets’ to restrict access to permission- based partners – the bank owning the nostro account and its corresponding banking partner.

Results will be announced at SIBOS Conference in Toronto this year.

The complete list of the 22 banks, who will work independently of the founding six banks as testers and validators of the blockchain PoC, are: ABN AMRO Bank, ABSA Bank, BBVA, Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, China Minsheng Banking, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group Bank, FirstRand Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Lloyds Bank, Mashreq bank, Nedbank, Rabobank, Société Générale, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, UniCredit and Westpac Banking Corporation.