The financial services industry witnesses millions of transactions worth trillions of dollars every day where security, transparency, and cost-efficiency is a high priority. 45% of financial intermediaries such as payment networks, stock exchanges, and money transfer services suffer from cybercrime every year. Blockchain technology has gained tremendous adoption due to its intrinsic strengths to tackle secured, the transparent and cost-efficient flow of transactions. It is the technology that started with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and has expanded into almost every industry. It is a protocol or a way to record transactions using complex algorithms and encryptions that results in the transactions being trusted, irrevocable, and easily available to everyone in the system. Blockchain technology has been the biggest accelerator for the transformation of financial services such as stock market, banking, asset management, and insurance.
Blockchain is the technology that creates a ledger of transactions on the internet that is secure, tamper-proof, and easily accessible. Like the internet, blockchain has no central authority instead, it is a shared record of transactions distributed over a waste network of users. It is made of a series of data blocks each of which records a patch of transactions. The blocks are allegedly chained together and locked up with advanced cryptography.
Quicker settlement in stock markets
Major stock exchanges are exploring the potential of blockchain to allow almost immediate stock settlements by reducing transaction time and operational cost. It automates compliance through smart contracts with a greater level of security and transparency. NASDAQ uses blockchain technology to issue and share private securities, while the London Stock Exchange is exploring blockchain opportunities with cross-industry groups of institutions to change the way securities are being traded in Europe. Other major stock exchanges are looking into the potential of blockchain.
With the growth in global commerce and trade every day, the asset management industry is among the fastest-growing ones, it is expected to grow by USD 150 trillion by 2025. Today, the asset management and supply chain network largely focuses on a centralized digital system that gives real-time visibility of assets within your systems. Existing centralized data management solutions are creating a network of distributed ledger systems. Blockchain technology leverages the processes which are complex and time-consuming. The distributed ledger concept enables direct trading and settlements across boundaries, it helps in reducing cost, increasing data accuracy, and reducing delays in processes. It makes you vulnerable to errors, fraud, and misinterpretation during an exchange of assets between parties. FundsDLT, a blockchain-powered funds distribution platform, is a great example of blockchain technology intervention into the asset management industry.
Blockchain can improve payment transparency, efficiency, trust, and security as well as reduce the cost for financial services firms and users. Earlier, the payments from one bank to another bank used to take up to a week, with the help of blockchain it is transferred instantly. The use of digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies make payment faster, cheaper, and more convenient. Central banks have started experimenting whether revamped payments could incorporate distributed ledger. Blockchain saves a significant amount of time and money for all the parties involved. It has also removed the need of middle office and back-office staff, as payments settled instantly. There are hurdles the Bank of Canada’s project Jasper identified persistent challenges around settlement finality and operational risk. Project UBIN, the monetary authority of Singapore, also identified obstacles but hopes to resolve them in the ongoing second phase. A distributed ledger could be the best way to enable faster and cheaper payments.
Improved compliance processes
KYC is a crucial requirement for financial institutions across the world as the financial institutions are responsible for complying and reporting on several requirements from their local regulators. It can be increasingly time taking, labor-intensive and error-prone. Blockchain services such as KYC-chain help the financial firms to streamline their KYC process. It provides KYC updates to the banks in real-time and efficiently by reducing duplication of workload and increasing trust. Blockchain technology automates customer identification by providing a digital single source of ID and other information allowing the seamless exchange of documents between banks and other sources. It results in automated account opening, reduces cost whilst maintaining the privacy of data that is legally required.
Fair and fraud-free claim management in insurance
The insurance industry has been making steady progress in benefiting from blockchain technology. It is empowering the insurance industry by automating claim sorting and processing through smart contracts. Facilities such as cross-industry data sharing, easy access to customer history, and centralized customer authentication are enhancing the claim settlement process and making it fraud-free. For example, in manual claim settlement communication takes place between several parties involved such as client, broker, insurer, and bank. These communications involve cross-checking, reconfirmation, and more, which leads to time consumption and inefficiency. Blockchain links these parties through a shared and secured network and collaborates in ways that reduce inefficiency and streamline the entire process. Blockchain is a shared ledger technology where everyone in the network i.e broker, insurer, banker, and client can see the status and history of transactions. it helps businesses work together more efficiently. LenderBot is a blockchain-enabled solution for micro-insurance, it is an example of how the insurance industry is reaping the benefits of blockchain technology.
The financial services industry is moving towards blockchain adoption, it is an innovation that has revolutionized the global financial system and making it more secure and efficient. There are many ways in which blockchain technology is enhancing the global financial service industry. The biggest benefit of blockchain is “cross-borders settlements'', it is an idea of creating a global network through blockchain that is highly cost-efficient and potentially transparent at the same time. It is driving the under cost and providing further values to the service seekers.
Piyush Jain is the founder and CEO of Simpalm, a Fintech app development company in the USA. Piyush founded Simpalm in 2009 and has grown it to be a leading mobile and web Development Company in the DMV area. With a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and a strong background in technology and entrepreneurship, he understands how to solve problems using technology. Under his leadership, Simpalm has delivered 300+ mobile apps and web solutions to clients in startups, enterprises and the federal sector.