Five rural banks from the Philippines have signed a deal with the Union Bank of the Philippines to test a new payment reconciliation system that would help these banks to offer a subset of services that they would not be able to offer otherwise. The pilot run will test the interoperability of the rural bank’s blockchain network with UnionBank, in its first phase, according to an announcement of the Philippine News Agency.
Union Bank is the seventh greatest bank in the Philippines, ranked according to its asset value. It is a universal bank; this means that it can emit cheques and jas the ability to issue credit and debit card that can interoperate with ATMs. The purpose of the initiative called Project i2i, that was also featured during the Coindesk Consensus 2018 Conference, one of the most important 2018 blockchain meetups, is to act as a bridge and extend the rural bank capabilities to help the people on rural areas enjoy the same services that clients from urban areas can. The piloted rural banks are Cantilan Bank, Inc. of Surigao del Sur, PR Savings Bank, City Savings Bank, FairBank, and Progressive Bank.
The project has the chance of lowering transfer fees significantly, and lower payment reconciliation times. A normal operation can last more than one day to be conciliated and confirmed, in a manual process; now, with this new system, the whole process could be automated, with operations being made in less than five minutes,
The project will start testing soon because Union Bank has partnered with Consensys, an Ethereum based blockchain company, to use their Kaleido blockchain manager that lets developers put the focus on the application, and not in the architecture. This will let them save time in testing and designing the platform. Consensys has also recently made headlines, being included by Amazon Web Services, a cloud computing platform, to be offered as a service to their customers.