Two banks in India have reportedly partnered on a series of blockchain trials aimed at testing the waters for potential new services.
Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are working on early concepts related to cross-border payments and transaction settlement, according to Indian news portal LiveMint.
The news closely follows that of ICICI, another Indian banking institution, is working with Dubai-based Emirates NBD on similar initiatives. Combined, the two partnerships signal strong interest among India’s banking sector in applications that focus on the movement and settlement of funds. Further, it’s the kind of experimentation that the Indian central bank has pushed for in recent months.
According to LiveMint, representatives from both Axis and Kotak Mahindra struck cautious yet optimistic tones in describing the trajectory of their trials.
Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer for Kotak Mahindra, was quoted as saying:
“We are theoretically convinced that blockchain is the way ahead. But we have to establish a practical use of the technology. As of now, the focus is on whether the technology is scalable in the near future.”
Though unnamed, the two banks are said to be working with internationally as well as a “technology provider”.
Amit Sethi, president and chief information officer for Axis, told the publication that he believed the bank’s retail and corporate business lines might see the first commercial-scale applications. Further, he indicated that the bank would look to begin offering related products to its clients, but demurred on when any rollouts might take place.
“We will come out with solutions for our customers soon, but we don’t want to commit to any time frame,” he said.
A representative for Axis was not immediately available for comment. Kotak Mahindra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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