IBM wants to speed up global payments with blockchain


IBM is using blockchain technologies to help businesses receive payments faster, with lower overheads compared to traditional transfers.

Collaborating with and KlickEx Group, IBM's latest implementation of its Blockchain technology will, the company claimed, enable banks to complete business-to-business transactions on a single network in real time.

At present, such transactions (especially if they are being made in different currencies) can take days or sometimes even weeks to complete. They can also be more prone to error compared to domestic transactions, because there are more parties involved and more steps required in order for it to complete.

IBM Blockchain, working in tandem with and KlickEx Group's technologies will be able to complete payments in 12 currencies across the Pacific Islands and Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom using a distributed ledger.

The solution isn't just limited to the physical payments, either. The company suggested the same system could be used to manage an arrangement between a farmer in Samoa and a buyer in Indonesia by recording the terms of the contract, managing trade documentation, allow the farmer to put up collateral, obtain letters of credit and finalise transaction terms with immediate payment, making it simpler for businesses of all sizes to trade across borders.

"With the guidance of some of the world's leading financial institutions, IBM is working to explore new ways to make payment networks more efficient and transparent so that banking can happen in real-time, even in the most remote parts of the world," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Industry Platforms. "Making distributed ledger technologies more interoperable is the latest example of IBM's leadership driving the rapid advancement of blockchain."

At present, IBM has partnered with some of world's biggest banking organisations including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Bank Danamon Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Permata, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Kasikornbank Thailand, Mizuho Financial Group, National Australia Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) Philippines, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, TD Bank, and Wizdraw (HK) of WorldCom Finance.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.