SWIFT India has announced a collaboration with financial technology provider MonetaGo to launch a distributed ledger pilot program that will aid the operation of Indian banks.
Using infrastructure provided by MonetaGo and SWIFT’s standardised financial messages, the proposed blockchain platform will enable banks in the country to improve the security and efficiency of their financial products and processes.
MonetaGo’s Expanding Footprint in India
It will be recalled that in January 2017, CCN reported that New York-based MonetaGo was tapped by a consortium of 15 Indian banks to provide blockchain infrastructure for a pioneering interbank blockchain platform pilot. At the time, it was reported that the banks, cumulatively responsible for over 80 percent of India’s transaction total, put together a pilot program that would see a blockchain platform integrated with their existing infrastructure and technologies, in an attempt to ease adoption.
Leveraging its prior experience in the Indian financial services space, MonetaGo’s blockchain solution will enable critical real-time decision making using an easily accessible and intuitive interface. In April, the company announced the successful deployment of the first-ever enterprise grade blockchain i India, which was designed for everyday use by multiple financial services organizations to securely store confidential information.
Speaking about the purpose of partnering with MonetaGo on the project, Kiran Shetty, CEO, SWIFT India said:“SWIFT India is committed to provide significant value to the Indian financial community through digitisation of trade. MonetaGo’s expertise in providing fraud mitigation solutions to avoid double-financing and check authenticity of e-way Bill gave us the confidence to partner with them.”
Giving his thoughts on working with SWIFT India, Jesse Chenard, CEO, MonetaGo said:“Given India’s focus on a digital infrastructure which is supported by both policy and technological innovation, it makes sense that large institutional players are interested in these products and initiatives. This work is going to positively impact the information available to the banking industry at large.”
In July last year, CCN reported that SWIFT launched a test pilot for a blockchain-based cross-border payment system, which was supported by a total of 28 banks including ABN AMRO Bank, ABSA Bank, BBVA, Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, China Minsheng Banking, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank among others.
The announcement is particularly significant, coming at a time when the conversation surrounding SWIFT and blockchain technology is dominated by the threat of Ripple, which has a stated goal of taking over SWIFT’s market share. SWIFT India, a joint venture owned by SWIFT and a consortium of Indian banks has however demonstrated that it recognizes blockchain technology as a means of improving its existing operating framework, rather than an existential threat.