Financial services companies are watching blockchain technology intently because it promises to eliminate the manual and paper-based processes they have used for years.
Deloitte’s recently established EMEA blockchain lab in Dublin is holding active conversations about more than 50 blockchain projects. “There’s a huge amount of interest, even though we are at early stages with this technology,” says David Dalton, financial services partner with Deloitte Ireland.
Dalton expects blockchain will have “a very significant impact” on some of the financial services industry’s infrastructure and processes. “You could apply it to trade finance where a lot of the activity involves paper. When you digitise that process, and put it onto a data technology that supports all participants, that can be powerful,” he says.
Those ways of doing business involved every party in a particular transaction needing to keep their own separate records, which resulted in time delays and added cost to check all details were correct between multiple parties.
Blockchain connects multiple participants in a financial transaction more efficiently, Dalton adds. “Today, cross-border payments can take four to five days, costing tens of euro per transaction. With a blockchain solution we’ve built, the processing time is less than a few seconds and the cost is less than a cent. When you see that kind of shift, it explains why there’s so much interest in this kind of technology,” he says.
Deloitte’s Dublin lab is intended to help financial services clients across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to understand blockchain technology and test its capabilities. The Dublin site is one of only two such Deloitte facilities. The other, it might not surprise you to learn, is on Wall Street.