Do you ever get frustrated by how long it takes for an international payment to clear? Or how difficult it is to obtain insurance for your business and products? You might be interested to know that companies around the world are working to improve these processes through technology called blockchain. And on July 24, I’ll be speaking at Distributed: Trade in St. Louis, where experts will be exploring how to use blockchain capabilities to transform financial services.
Blockchains are shared digital ledgers for recording the history of transactions. When used for business, these transactions are verified by a network of participants and can only be added to the ledger when the participants have consensus. Transactions cannot be altered, and all participants see the same version of the truth. Benefits of blockchain include, but are not limited to, cost savings, security, transparency, traceability, accuracy and data integrity.
It takes several days for your international payments to clear is because cross-border payments involve multiple intermediaries, include significant costs and are subject to local banking standards. These intermediaries have trouble trusting each other and any discrepancies or errors can cause major delays. However, having a shared, immutable ledger increases trust because it eliminates the need to reconcile disparate ledgers among multiple parties.
Blockchain can help enterprises and regulators streamline payments and can even enable point-to-point transfers. Watch the video to see how:
There are many types of insurance, but one thing remains true for all of them: the process is a nightmare for both the person trying to get a policy and the insurer. If you’re trying to get insured, you have to provide all kinds of documentation to prove you’re worth the risk whereas insurers have to validate all that information and assess the risks of providing a policy. If goods are involved, then the insurer must ensure they are authentic and that their company doesn’t get fraudulent claims.
Blockchain can support tracking high-value risks and supply chain transactions in a single location. This reduces costs for insureds and insurers due to the immutability of risk provenance data, it helps prevent fraud in underwriting and claims processing, and it can improve the accuracy of risk estimates.
Join my session on Monday, July 24 from 10:15 – 11:00 AM for an in-depth discussion of blockchain and its potential for mitigating risk in insurance.
Where to go from here
Of course, I hope to see you at the Distributed: Trade conference. It promises to be a great opportunity to explore blockchain technology and its effect on financial services, global payments, insurance services, supply chain management and capital markets. Be sure to join the IBM Blockchain community for updates:
And if any of the topics in this post piqued your interest, consider doing a two-day design thinking workshop through IBM Bluemix Garage for blockchain. Examining use cases and collaborating with experts can help give you a jump-start on building a blockchain solution for your business!
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