BNP Paribas blockchain payments go live

The company's first transactions were on behalf of Panini Group and Amcor

BNP Paribas has announced the first payments have gone live on its blockchain transaction-processing and settlement system, designed to cut costs of transactions for businesses.

The first clients to make use of the highly secure service were the collectibles maker Panini and Australian packaging company Amcor. The company explained first transactions were cross-border transfers using customer accounts in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

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"Blockchain technology applied to cross-border payments offers an innovative way of processing in near-real-time high-value transactions between different companies," said Panini Group treasurer, Fabrizio Masinelli.

"This proof of concept shows how powerful such technology can be and how it can be utilised as an effective and efficient response to the main issues that treasurers face on a daily basis."

BNP Paribas said it planned to start using blockchain technology back in September. At that point, it had started working with select clients to test blockchain applications for transaction banking.

BNP Paribas explained how the technology was able to process and clear the transactions in minutes rather than hours. It can eliminate the delays for receiving payments, reduce high fees and minimise processing errors that are usually associated with making manual payments.

"This proof-of-concept demonstrates that blockchain technology offers real opportunities to considerably improve our offer for corporate treasury managers," Jacques Levet, head of transaction banking for EMEA at BNP Paribas, said.

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"On the payments front, this confirms our strong commitment to follow closely and further accelerate our participation in a number of market initiatives aiming at improving the corporate payments experience using blockchain technology."

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