Santander was deeply aware of the technologies coming onto the scene that would change the banking environment fundamentally and permanently. As part of the we.trade consortium, Santander created blockchain laboratory to provide a forum for free, tire-kicking experimentation that would eventually trickle down to their core lines of business. The bank is using blockchain technology to change the way banks and businesses move money around the world.
Today, with three plus years of experience behind Santander, the lab has undergone an evolution of mindset on blockchain. Where once the focus was on the “technology” of blockchain—such as which protocol will emerge as “victor” in the marketplace—the maturation of blockchain has shifted the focus to the use case. What’s driving this new perspective on blockchain is simple: big corporate banking customers are increasingly clamoring for it to solve real problems. Santander’s blockchain lab also saw a huge untapped opportunity in facilitating payments for individuals, especially in those parts of the world where traditional payment infrastructures are lacking. To seize these opportunities, Santander’s blockchain lab is actively developing payment solutions based on blockchain’s distributed ledger technology. Santander—through its participation in the we.trade consortium—also offers its services based on blockchain’s smart contracts capability. Many banks and companies are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to trade internationally. The we.trade solution, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, powered by Hyperledger Fabric technology, offers banks’ customers access to a user-friendly interface by leveraging innovative smart contracts, and opens up potential new trading opportunities.