Standard Bank of South Africa To Launch Blockchain Payment Platform

Announcements, Blockchain, News | March 1, 2019 By:

The Standard Bank of South Africa will be rolling out a permissioned blockchain payment platform that will allow corporate clients to engage in overseas foreign exchange trading.

The Standard Bank of South Africa, Africa’s biggest lender by assets, was formed in 1862 as a South African subsidiary of the British overseas bank Standard Bank. The bank offers personal banking and business banking products. It has 1,212 branches and 9,036 ATMs.

The bank’s blockchain platform, built on the Hyperledger Fabric and compatible with the bank’s existing foreign currency trading application Shyft, is expected to go into live production in the second half of the year. It will initially cover Standard Bank and Stanbic Bank partner banks, clients and third parties directly involved in trades, and interbank network Swift.

“The platform is expected to significantly increase the straight-through processing of international trades,” said Richard de Roos, head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank. “It will also speed up foreign exchange payments and settlement while making transactions more transparent, providing an independent and much safer cloud-hosted record of all documents and steps, instantly available in real time to all parties involved.”

According to the bank, the goal of the new platform is to capture the majority of trades that typically fail in the first mile of foreign exchange payments and settlement, then simply hand the transaction over to the Swift gpi network for fulfillment. The bank is also working with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to extend the platform into China.

“We could actually offer clients a fully integrated end-to-end block chain solution that would dramatically reduce the incidence of trade failure while also increasing regulatory transparency and improving the visibility of liquidity.”

Last year, Standard Bank and the Central Securities Depository (CSD) of Nigeria completed a pilot using Tata Consultancy Services’ Quartz Blockchain technology for cross-border corporate action information exchange.