Business

Steve Kaaru

JPMorgan adds rival Deutsche Bank to blockchain-based network

American banking giant JPMorgan has added Deutsche Bank to its blockchain-based payments platform. The German bank, considered to be the fifth largest in the region, becomes the latest bank to join the Interbank Information Network (IIN). By joining the network, Deutsche hopes to lower costs and increase transaction speed to its cross-border payments.

Established in 2017, IIN has grown to include over 300 banks across the world. However, the inclusion of Deutsche Bank is a landmark for the platform. This is because most existing members of the network are banks which rely on JPMorgan as a correspondent bank to process dollar payments on behalf of their clients. Deutsche, being the world’s biggest clearer of euro denominated payments is one of the few dominant global banks to join the network.

Takis Georgakopoulos, the head of payments at JPMorgan told the Financial Times, “A network that only has JPMorgan’s clients will have very big natural limitations. It would mean that all of these other smaller banks would still need to have bifurcated procedures, what they do with JPMorgan and what they do with other banks would still have to be different. Having Deutsche join — and hopefully Deutsche will be the first of several other large banks — is going to help us drive towards ubiquity and ubiquity is a pre-requisite for the success of the network.”

IIN, which is built on JPMorgan’s Quora blockchain platform, has members in every major market including Latin America, Europe, North America, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Joining IIN will allow Deutsche Bank to offer its clients better services and lower its costs, the bank’s head of cash management Ole Matthiessen told FT.

“Our competitors are not just the other banks, it’s also new players in the market, we need to become efficient enough to provide seamless real time and digital process,” he added.

Sixty five banks have already gone live on the IIN platform, with 255 other having signed letters of intent. According to JPMorgan’s Georgakopoulos, the bank is targeting hitting 400 participants by the end of the year.

Despite its CEO having established himself as one of the biggest crypto skeptics, JPMorgan has continued to fervently explore blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions. It became the first bank to launch its own crypto token with JPM Coin which targets instant payments.

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