Blockchain could well be what’s needed by Philippine rural banks to improve the residents’ involvement in financial activities.
The Philippine Information Agency reported, Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s largest banking institutions, will lead a program — Project i2i — which will integrate the country’s rural banks with the main financial hub through the blockchain-powered Kaleido retail payment platform from ConsenSys, an Ethereum company.
UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz first disclosed the project at the CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.
Interbank transactions in the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, are mostly paper-based and done manually. This is because it is “too complex” merging them with the Swift network and the country’s clearing house.
The project is currently being implemented on seven rural banks including one of the country’s largest community banks, Cantilan.
The bank’s executive vice president Tanya Hotchkiss said that the ETA for a standard interbank transaction in rural Philippines takes a month with its twenty-five processes done manually.
The initiative was born after the credit card behemoth Visa’s blockchain-driven payment system helped speed up the transaction procedures of a similar group of five banks led by Union Bank.