One of the leading audit and consulting services providers, Deloitte, made its first investment in the blockcain-based startup as part of its initiative to diversify its business model.

Deloitte has invested in SETL, the London-based fintech startup offering institutional payment and settlement solutions. The sum of the investment was not disclosed, FStech reports.

Established in 2015, SETL aims at creating multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure using the distributed ledger technology.

Deloitte and SETL have recently teamed up to develop a contactless card using the blockchain technology to enable instant settlement of retail payments.

The investment marks the first time Deloitte put money into the blockchain company. However, it had already worked with blockchain companies before. Earlier this year, Deloitte partnered with five fintech startups – Bloq, ConsenSys, BlockCypher, the Stellar Development Foundation, and Loyyal – to deliver new technological capabilities to its customers globally.

“This investment demonstrates Deloitte’s commitment to help our clients build the future of financial services with emerging technologies,” said David Myers, head of capital markets at Deloitte.

“Blockchain has the ability to transform the industry, and we have been investing heavily in real-world applications, such as identity management, cross-border payments, loyalty, trade finance and a number of others. By harnessing the capabilities of SETL’s blockchain, we can provide our clients with even more practical and transformational solutions.”

SETL is one of the latest companies Deloitte invested in as part of its Innovation Investments scheme. The company has already invested in over 30 innovative startups.

Peter Randall, CEO of SET, said: “We are thrilled that Deloitte has chosen to invest in SETL. We have been working with the firm over the past 12 months, and this announcement demonstrates Deloitte’s ongoing commitment to engage with our platform. Together, we have the opportunity to offer a unique blockchain service to a range of financial services companies.”

Deloitte is actively exploring the potential of the distributed ledger technology. In May, the company opened a blockchain lab in Dublin under its global initiative targeted at using the blockchain technology in a range of sectors.

The company believes the financial industry will significantly change in the next few years as a result of continuing technological advances. The technology, Deloitte says, can improve financial transactions, IoT applications, micropayments, corporate audits, health records, and other things.

According to Deloitte’s report on the blockchain technology, the banking industry will be the first one to face serious transformations. “In all likelihood, blockchain innovations could be the most transformative, and we will likely see a number of real-life applications of blockchain applied to payments, beyond digital currencies, in the next five years,” the company wrote.

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