Standard Chartered, Siemens Partner on Blockchain Pilot to ‘Fully Digitize’ Bank Guarantees

UK multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered (SC) disclosed it is working on a blockchain pilot for bank guarantees using R3 Corda blockchain technology in a press release Thursday, August 30.

In partnership with Siemens’ financing arm Siemens Financial Services (SFS) and trade finance platform TradeIX, the pilot began operating in March and aims to be complete by the end of 2018.

If successful, the project will “digitize trade and leverage real-time data to deliver efficiency gains and transform the way trade finance is conducted,” SC’s global head of trade products Samuel Mathew commented. “The future of trade is going to be all about data,” Mathew added.

Bank guarantees are traditionally a highly “paper-intensive” area, the parties state in the release, with the industry first blockchain solution designed to significantly streamline current practices by “fully digiti[zing] the process, from initiation of the bank guarantee to the claim handling.”

“We believe that global trade is at the cusp of multi-level digital transformation which will revolutionise the entire business and operating model,” TradeIX CEO Rob Barnes continued.

The news marks a further implementation for R3’s Corda platform, following the Bank of Thailand’s announcement last week that it was using the technology to create a central bank digital currency.

SC’s interest in shoring up its operational processes using blockchain comes as little surprise meanwhile, Cointelegraph reporting on how it lost $200 million to fraud in 2014 alone.