According to a new report by Accenture a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations; 9 out of 10 major banks in North America and Europe are exploring the use of Blockchain technology for payments.
The report entitled Blockchain Technology: How banks are building a real-time global payment network is based on a survey of 32 top commercial banking professionals and was designed to assess their views on the potential of the Blockchain technology to transform the payments business. The survey included executives from 11 of the top 20 U.S., Canadian and European banks, by assets, and three of the top five institutions within each geography.
The survey which was conducted by a research agency on behalf of Accenture between August and early September of this year, and was achieved through telephone interviews with banking professionals at domestic and international banks in the United States, Canada and Europe. The commercial banking professionals responded to a series of questions about the potential of the Blockchain technology to transform the payments industry.
Some interesting findings from the survey reveal that 30 percent of banks are in the advanced stages of adopting the Blockchain technology for payments with executives indicating that they are either “at the forefront of the revolution” (17%), or “engaged in production implementation” (13%); Seventy percent of banks are still in the early stages of adoption, with 30% “involved in proof-of-concepts with other companies,” 27% still “formulating a strategy” and 13% “looking into the technology.”
Regarding the most prevalent use cases for the Blockchain technology within payments, the survey showed 44 percent ranked the number one priority as intra-bank cross-border transfers followed secondary by cross-border remittances, corporate payments and inter-bank cross-border transfers.
On the topic of regulatory and compliance concerns 50% of the banking executives who took part recognised the challenges associated with integrating and implementing Blockchain technology. Sixty-six percent stated that this was primarily due to regulatory issues while 56% highlighted compliance concerns with one third seeing security as causing internal resistance to the Blockchain adoption.
“The technology could resolve inefficiencies and friction that have long driven up the costs and the time required to move money around the world. Blockchain has proven its scalability to support such infrastructure. And as the industry sets its focus on developing the networks, business processes and standards needed to run these systems, payments could be one of the first major proving grounds for enterprise Blockchain adoption.”
“Cross-border payments are ripe for innovation using Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive of Financial Services at Accenture.
Richard Meszaros, Connected Commerce lead in Accenture Digital and co-author of the report, said: “For many executives, the value proposition for the Blockchain is not yet clear enough and top decision-makers have insufficient understanding of the technology. Providing education to employees and executives continues to be critical for the near-term. However, the broad success of the Blockchain in payments hinges upon industry collaboration to create supporting networks that include banks and non-banks.”