Standard Bank In South Africa Set To Leverage Blockchain Payments System And Connect Shyft App

South Africa’s Standard Bank Set To Launch Blockchain Technology-Powered Payments System

In a bid to facilitate overseas foreign exchanges for its institutional clients in a super fast and cost-efficient manner, Standard Bank of South Africa is making active plans to launch own private permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT) based payments system, reports Finextra on February 28, 2019

Standard Bank Joins The Blockchain Movement

Standard Bank of South Africa, one of Africa’s largest financial institutions, has announced it’s looking to launch a private permissioned blockchain network that would enable it to facilitate fast and cost-efficient overseas payments for its corporate clients.

Built upon the Linux Hyperledger Fabric, the bank says the cloud-based blockchain solution will go live in the second half of 2019 and will initially support both Standard Bank and Stanbic Bank partner banks, customers and intermediaries directly involved in trades, as well as interbank network, Swift.

That’s not all; the lender has also reportedly stated that its forex trading app would also support the new system.

“We have also decided to include our foreign currency trading app, Shyft, which allows users to access a host of payment distribution partners and e-commerce platforms,” declared Richard de Roos, head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank.

Standard Bank Has Joined Forces With Commercial Bank Of China (ICBC)

Interestingly, Standard bank has also revealed that its global banking partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), will also be participating in the blockchain project.

In essence, the initiative is conceived on a “hub and spoke” arrangement, “where the hub is Standard Bank and its 20 franchises across the continent of Africa working with ICBC to extend the hub into Asia, and the spokes are the various payment rails, including Swift and Shyft,” added Roos.

While various forward-thinking firms in different sectors of the economy including healthcare, supply chain, and the arts have integrated the groundbreaking blockchain technology into their processes for enhanced productivity, the impact of DLT has been felt significantly in the financial ecosystem, where fintech firms adopt it for cross-border payments.

In the same vein, Standard Bank hopes that when its blockchain system finally goes live, it would foster straight-through processing of international transactions, speed up foreign exchange payments and settlements while also bringing a new level of transparency in trades.

De Roos also hinted that a cloud-hosted record of all vital documents and steps that make up each transaction would be accessible to all authorized parties in real-time, thereby drastically reducing the number of trades that fail within the first mile of foreign exchange payments and settlements.

“We could offer clients a fully integrated end-to-end blockchain solution that would significantly reduce the incidence of trade failure, increase regulatory transparency and improve the visibility of liquidity,” de Roos concluded.

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