Blockchain for Banking News

Italian bankers test reconciliation blockchain with a year’s transactions

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The Italian Banker’s Association (Associazione Bancaria Italiana or ABI) has made the latest step in preparation for the launch of its “Spunta” reconciliation blockchain. The platform which aims to automate the reconciliation of interbank accounts has been successfully tested with a year’s worth of transactions for 200 banks.

Thirty-five nodes or servers were involved in the test that supported uploading 200 million pieces of data and allowed the response times to be tested.

The project is coordinated by ABI Labs and includes 18 banks that account for 78% of the staff employed in the Italian banking sector. ABI Labs is assisted by SIA, the major networking company that supports large parts of SEPA and NTT Data which has developed the application. R3’s Corda technology underpins the platform.

The solution aims to go into production from March 1st next year.

The distributed ledger technology (DLT) network enables full visibility into the transactions in which both banks participate. As a result of standardization and automation, interbank reconciliations will be completed daily as opposed to the current monthly position. At the moment, the process is carried out by back-office staff.

The new process will automatically flag any exceptions in the reconciliation process – where one bank has a transaction that doesn’t fully match an entry recorded by the other. There’s an integrated system that enables the banks to communicate to resolve the differences.

Between the first announcement a year ago and this February, the number of banks expanded from 14 to 18.

The original 14 banks were Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, BNL BNP Paribas Group, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca! – Mediobanca Group, Credito Emiliano, Crédit Agricole, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca, and Ubi.

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