Blockchain for Banking News

Polish banks use blockchain for document storage, client communication

bank documents

Yesterday, the Polish Credit Office (Biuro Informacji Kredytowej – BIK) said its blockchain document management platform developed in collaboration with the Billon Group is now live in Poland. The solution allows retail banks in the country to send notifications of commissions and fees to their customers using blockchain, and stores entire documents on the chain. 

BIK is the largest credit bureau in Central and Eastern Europe and is owned by the biggest banks in Poland. It maintains records of 25 million Poles and over a dozen Polish banks. 

The BIK Blockchain Platform enables banks in Poland to eliminate paper-based communication with its clients and is compliant with MiFID II investment regulations, GDPR privacy rules, and other related regulations. Currently, manual processes for client-side notifications are carried out using emails and physical letters. This creates significant inefficiencies and security and privacy risks. 

Using the credit bureau’s solution, banks can store notifications and legal agreements for their clients on the blockchain network. These documents can be accessed from a portal managed by the BIK. Due to blockchain’s immutable nature, the documents are available even after the customer is no longer a client of a bank. 

“This launch marks the first step of commercialization of the BIK Blockchain Platform. This version eliminates the need for paper notifications,” said BIK CEO Mariusz Cholewa. “Further versions will focus on streamlining complex multi-party processes and expand to other market sectors in Poland.”

The BIK platform can also be used in other industries for storing legal agreements, insurance claims, and other vital documents. In 2018, the credit bureau started developing the platform using Billon’s blockchain technology and previously ran pilots with a group of five banks. 

Billon offers two blockchain products — Trusted Document Management, which is used by BIK, and another called Accounts & Transactions. The document management solution allows users to send, store, e-sign, and share sensitive business documents. The other solution enables near real-time settlement of domestic and cross border payments. Billon is registered as an e-money issuer in the UK and Poland.

Last month, the company raised $6 million in a Series A funding round. Investors include the CEO, payments firm FIS, and a few others. FIS, the payments firm with 2019 revenues of $12.2 billion, is a commercial partner of Billon, along with Microsoft, Warta Insurance, Philip Morris and others. 

This isn’t the first time Polish banks have used such a solution. Two years ago, Poland’s largest bank PKO Bank Polski launched a service to authenticate new product regulations sent to customers. Coinfirm developed the offering. 

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