Italian banks use Corda blockchain to exchange data

Around 85% of Italian banks use the R3 Corda blockchain to speed up the process of double-checking transaction logs, sharing data and increasing transparency between banks.

Silvia Attanasio, head of innovation at the Italian Banking Association (ABI), said the interbank matching process and the technologies underlying data exchange need to change. In the old system, data matching took a long time – from 30 to 50 days, and thanks to the Corda blockchain, the process is completed within a day.

In 2019, the Italian Interbank Agreement was updated to include data standardization. Italy has set a deadline from March 1 to October 1, 2020 for integration into this blockchain standard that banks could use to comply with the new rules. NTT Data has developed a related network operated by the banking technology company SIA.

The project is now in its second rollout phase: about 85% of Italian banks, or 55 banks, use the data exchange platform. In the third and final phase, scheduled for October, the Association expects 70 to 100 banks to join the platform.

According to Demetrio Migliorati, head of blockchain at Banca Mediolanum, before the implementation of the Spunta system, each bank had its own data exchange software. Using Corda for interbank data exchange has become more profitable than moving fiat currencies between banks using blockchain.

“If we failed in this process, the worst thing that could happen is a problem in the exchange of information between banks,” he said. “Clients have not suffered, companies have not suffered. It has become a real sandbox.

The association considered a centralized database instead of Corda, but was not prepared for banks to store data in separate registries. Now, some banks have also begun experimenting with KYC communication and loan guarantees for Spunta.

“If we want to do something new for Spunta, we change it immediately and the new rule applies to all banks,” Miliorati said.

The plans of Italian banks to introduce blockchain for data exchange became known last summer. The ABI blockchain interbank system successfully passed the initial testing phase in October 2018 with the participation of 14 local banks. Recall also that last month, Italian banks came out in favor of developing a digital euro.

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