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250 Corporates Join ICICI’s Trade Finance Blockchain Platform

Indian banking giant ICICI, the country’s second-largest private bank, has roped in 250 corporates to conduct both domestic and international trade finance transactions on its ‘custom-made’ blockchain platform.

In a major pivot that underlines the growing confidence in decentralized blockchain technology, ICICI bank has pointed to corporate firms and giants undertaking various types of transactions over ICICI’s blockchain tech such as cross-border salary payments to employees, domestic vendor payments and payments for raw materials, among others.

Some of “the country’s leading companies” have signed up for the blockchain application, a press release revealed, for a faster, cheaper, more efficient and secure way of undertaking transactions.

“The usage of blockchain technology simplifies the paper-intensive trade finance process by bringing counterparties on the same platform, enabling decision making in almost real time,’ an excerpt from the announcement added.

While ICICI withheld details on the type of technology used to build its custom blockchain, the bank touted the benefits of switching to a ‘distributed and unalterable ledger’ that enables buyers and sellers as well as all branches and locations of ICICI bank – both domestically and internationally – to view transaction data in real-time. While the claim is yet to be independently verified, the application could figure as the largest real-world blockchain rollout in India among some 4,800(+) ICICI branches in the country.

As reported previously in June 2016, ICICI proactively established a new division to research and harness blockchain technology for core banking services. Before the turn of that year, the bank became the first in India to trial a cross-border remittance pilot over a custom-built blockchain that specialized in facilitating trade finance and remittance. The successful pilot transaction executed real-time funds transfer from an ICICI bank branch in Mumbai, India, to an Emirates NBD branch in Dubai.

With the announcement of the comprehensive on-boarding of 250 corporates this week, ICICI chief executive Chanda Kochhar also revealed larger goals toward wider implementation of blockchain applications after previously stating the bank was “constantly looking” at blockchain technology.

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