The paper issued by the companies highlights possible advantages and challenges of adopting distributed ledger technologies to financial services.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication , or SWIFT, the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has announced its partnership with Accenture, a leading global multi-services company. Together the companies issued a paper devoted to the possible application of distributed ledger technologies to financial services.

The assessment of distributed ledger technologies made by SWIFT underlay the paper. SWIFT and Accenture focused on both potential and possible challenges for industry wide adoption.

The companies reveal eight critical factors in the paper necessary to widely adopt the distributed ledger technologies. They include:

  • Strong governance
  • Data controls
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Standardisation
  • Identity framework
  • Security and cyber defence
  • Reliability
  • Scalability

David Treat, a managing director and global head of Accenture’s Capital Markets Blockchain practice, states: “The financial services industry is moving from an educational phase, into an application phase when it comes to DLTs. We now have a strong understanding of DLT and its benefits, but we need to identify which areas are best suited, as the technology will not be a silver bullet to solve all business issues. The SWIFT and Accenture paper provides the industry with a blueprint for reaching the next step in identifying how to apply DLTs.”

The paper also says about SWIFT’s research and future plans for development of distributed ledger platform. “Since the emergence of DLTs, the financial services industry has been looking for answers to questions about the potential use of these new technologies,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT. “The technology assessment has given us valuable insights into the necessary requirements for DLTs to succeed in financial services. It provides a clear state-of-play, outlining the different factors the technology needs to address, and the current maturity of DLTs in each of these areas. SWIFT is committed working with its community to identify areas in which the technology can provide the greatest benefits, evolving at a pace that works for each customer.”

SWIFT is planning to continue working cooperatively with financial institutions to further study and develop distributed ledger technologies.

At the very end of last year, SWIFT informed about its future exploration of the blockchain under the initiative named the Global Payments Innovation (GPI) Initiative. The project was targeted at leveraging the benefits of the bitcoin technology to enhance cross-border payments. With that initiative, SWIFT intended to accelerate the process of making international payments and make it more transparent.

“This initiative is an important first step in driving cross-border payments innovation. As part of the initiative, we will continue to develop new and enhanced services, utilising SWIFT’s Innotribe initiative to further engage the FinTech community and explore the application of innovations such as real-time payment status tracking, the use of peer-to-peer messaging and blockchain technology,” said Wim Raymaekers, Director of Banking Markets at SWIFT.

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