Brussels
25 April 2017
Reporter: Drew Nicol

SWIFT tests distributed ledger technology for reconciliations


SWIFT is developing a proof of concept to assess the viability of distributed ledger technology for improving banks’ reconciliation of nostro accounts in real time.

In developing the proof of concept, SWIFT is leveraging the recently released Hyperledger Fabric v1 technology, and combining it with key SWIFT assets, to ensure that all the information related to nostro/vostro accounts is kept private and seen only by the account owner and its correspondent banking partner.

The proof of concept application will use a private permissioned blockchain in a closed user group environment, with specific user profiles and strong data controls. User privileges and data access will be strictly governed.

The data stored on the ledger and the application programming interfaces used to query and update it will also be designed to support ISO 20022 message formats.

The distributed ledger technology project is being conducted in collaboration with several transaction banks, including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, RBC Royal Bank and Wells Fargo, among others, and aims to optimise global liquidity.

According to SWIFT, these banks are working with SWIFT to identify the challenges, define the specifications, build the application and ultimately test the concept.

A further 20 banks will join the programme at a later stage to further validate and test the distributed ledger technology concept.

The results of the proof of concept will be presented at Sibos in Toronto in October.

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