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South African bank readies for roll out of blockchain based cross border payments

South African bank readies for roll out of blockchain based cross border payments

(28 February 2019 – South Africa) Standard Bank of South Africa is preparing to go live with a private permissions blockchain payment system for conducting international foreign exchange trades for corporate clients.

The network, expected to move into live production in the second half of the year, is built on the hyperledger fabric and will initially cover Standard Bank and Stanbic Bank partner banks, clients and third parties directly involved in trades, and interbank network Swift.

“We have also decided to include our foreign currency trading app, Shyft, which provides access to a host of payment distribution partners and e-commerce platforms,” says Richard de Roos, head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank.

Standard Bank is also working with global banking partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), enabling the South African bank to extend its private permission-based ecosystem into China. 

When the system goes live, it is expected to significantly increase the straight-through processing of international trades. It will also speed up foreign exchange payments and settlement while making transactions more transparent, “providing an independent and much safer cloud-hosted record of all documents and steps, instantly available in real time to all parties involved,” says de Roos. 

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