Toyota Financial Services and R3 Consortium have announced the start of their collaboration on research and development of Blockchain applications.

Uniting over fifty of the biggest banks and corporations in the world the R3 Consortium seeks how to incorporate Blockchain solutions in the financial and nonfinancial sectors.

Applying the Blockchain

When the consortium was first created, it appeared that the world’s banks and financial institutions were the earliest to become fascinated by the technology. No wonder, as the world got to know about the Blockchain primarily because of the cryptocurrency built on its basis. The more these financial sector players researched this technology, the more we heard about mysterious thing called Blockchain.

However, as more and more enthusiasts from the non-financial sectors dive into researching the potential of technology, new real-life applications of technology occur. It comes as no surprise that non-bank institutions are joining the consortium.

Potential for Blockchain beyond finances

Toyota Financial Services are among the latest member to join R3 group. The partnership is to become a very interesting experiment in merging distributed ledgers with automotive financial services. Toyota is reportedly joining a global network of consortium partners and becoming a part of R3 Lab and Research Center. The strategy of the partnership between Toyota and R3 is driven by the common goal to research and test distributed ledgers with a focus on non-financial use-cases. The finance arm of the car maker sees a high potential for Blockchain in that particular sector.

Chris Ballinger, CEO and Global Chief Officer for strategic innovation at Toyota Financial Services, says:

“Beyond finance, we believe additional applications of the technology in auto manufacturing and sales will benefit our customers by making mobility more affordable and available. Toyota Financial Services welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development and advancement of the R3 ecosystem”.

R3 diversifies member base

Toyota Financial Services is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the US, and it handles financial products for Lexus dealers and customers under Lexus Financial Services umbrella. Toyota Financial Services is undoubtedly a valuable partner for the consortium. Welcoming it to the team is a significant milestone in the history of the consortium, which increases chances of other players from the industry to follow the example.

Ballinger told the media:

“Toyota Financial Services is excited to join the R3CEV consortium to advance the use of distributed ledger technology in finance and beyond. We believe this technology will ultimately lower costs, increase efficiency and make auto finance more transparent for our customers.”

David Rutter, CEO of R3, comments:

“We are delighted to welcome Toyota Financial Services to our ever-growing network of non-bank institutions. Distributed and shared ledger-inspired technology holds the potential to revolutionise the infrastructure used by all participants in financial markets, and we continue to diversify our member base to reflect the interests of firms across the sell-and buy-side."

How is Toyota going to apply distributed ledger?

Toyota does not yet reveal the projects which will set the beginning for collaborative work. However, something is known about their direction. For instance, the online distributed ledger allowing participants to track the ownership of an asset could be potentially applied to track auto parts as they move across factories and countries.

Ballinger recalled the tragic earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in 2011 and led to two factories being shut down. Since then the company has been looking for ways to ensure how to keep more accurate records in real-time of the thousands of parts that are used for producing cars, and especially for the situations when supply chain disruptions occur. He believes that incorporating distributed ledger technology in such a system would make Toyota more efficient. Furthermore, the Blockchain could play an important role enabling connected cars to communicate with drivers’ personal devices and sensors on cities’ infrastructure and roads.