Last month, 15 Indian banks incorporated a blockchain trade finance consortium, the Indian Banks’ Blockchain Infrastructure Co (IBBIC), to initially target domestic Letters of Credit. According to multiple reports in the Indian press yesterday, three additional banks have joined, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, and the Union Bank of India.
What triggered the news report were corporate filings by several of the banks. The June announcement said that each bank would invest 50 million rupees ($670,000) in the Letter of Credit solution, giving a total funding of $12 million.
The filings from Axis Bank, Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, State Bank of India, and Yes Bank were consistent with this report, with each bank taking a 5.55% stake. But ICICI Bank, for some reason, invested slightly less, 49 million rupees, for a 5.54% stake.
As previously reported, the solution will use the Infosys Finacle Connect solution and is expected to launch later this year. The Reserve Bank of India is also involved in discussions, but local media outlet LiveMint reported that the RBI’s research arm, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), is also working on a model blockchain for trade finance.
The RBI also previously supported the adoption of Monetago, which uses blockchain to guard against invoice fraud in trade finance.
Apart from the new additions, the full list of consortium participants are State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, RBL Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, South Indian Bank, Federal Bank, IDFC First Bank, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank, Indian Bank and Standard Chartered.