RBC Using Blockchain to Move Payments Between US and Canada

Blockchain, FinTech | September 28, 2017 By:

Martin Wildberger, Royal Bank of Canada executive vice president for innovation and technology, said the bank is currently experimenting with blockchain technology to help move payments between its US and Canadian banks.

Wildberger said use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) would improve the speed of payments, reduce complexity and lower costs.

RBC developed the blockchain system over the past six months at the bank’s blockchain technology center in Toronto, deploying software developed by Hyperledger, a cross-industry open-source blockchain consortium. The technology was integrated into RBC’s existing systems several weeks ago as a “shadow” to RBC’s primary ledger, letting the bank monitor payments in real-time as they travel between the US and Canada.

Wildberger said that they wanted to set it up as a shadow ledger so that they can demonstrate their leadership in exploiting that technology while at the same time recognizing that the technology is still early in its adoption phase.

“Everybody recognizes blockchain will be transformative and critical,” said Wildberger. “At the same point in time, I think everybody recognizes these are early days.”

Wildberger added that the bank is looking to use blockchain to improve its rewards and loyalty offers and trade finance capabilities.

Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada is the largest bank in Canada. The bank serves over 16 million clients and has 80,000 employees worldwide. RBC corporate headquarters are located in Toronto, Ontario.