October 25, 2016

Nine out of 10 Major Banks in North America and Europe are Exploring the use of Blockchain Technology for Payments, Accenture Survey Finds

To Drive Adoption, Collaborative Network Supporting Global Payments Needed

NEW YORK; Oct. 25, 2016 – Nine out of 10 banking professionals surveyed at large U.S., European and Canadian commercial banks said their company is currently exploring the use of blockchain technology for payments, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The initiatives are designed to reduce costs, speed payments, reduce errors and drive new revenues.

The report – Blockchain Technology: How banks are building a real-time global payment network – is based on a survey of 32 top commercial banking professionals that was designed to assess their views on the potential of blockchain technology to transform the payments business. The survey included executives from 11 of the top 20 U.S., Canadian and European banks, by assets, and three of the top five institutions within each geography.

According to the survey:

“Cross-border payments are ripe for innovation using blockchain and distributed ledger technologies,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive – Financial Services at Accenture. “The technology could resolve inefficiencies and friction that have long driven up the costs – and the time – required to move money around the world. Blockchain has proven its scalability to support such infrastructure. And as the industry sets its focus on developing the networks, business processes and standards needed to run these systems, payments could be one of the first major proving grounds for enterprise blockchain adoption.”

The survey found the most prevalent use cases for blockchain technology within payments are intra-bank cross-border transfers (44 percent ranked as the number one priority), with a secondary focus on cross-border remittances, corporate payments and inter-bank cross-border transfers. Across the board, the executives surveyed expect that blockchain technology will help lower frictional and administrative costs, create quicker settlement time with fewer errors and exceptions, and provide greenfield revenue opportunities through innovative new products and services based on this transformative technology offered to bank customers.

Regulatory and compliance concerns
Half of the bank executives surveyed say they recognize the challenges associated with integrating and implementing blockchain technology. This is primarily due to regulatory (63 percent) and compliance (56 percent) concerns that have caused internal resistance to blockchain adoption. Nearly one-third of executives surveyed highlighted security as another impediment.

Richard Meszaros, Connected Commerce lead in Accenture Digital and co-author of the report, said: “For many executives, the value proposition for blockchain is not yet clear enough and top decision-makers have insufficient understanding of the technology. Providing education to employees and executives continues to be critical for the near-term. But the broad success of blockchain in payments hinges upon industry collaboration to create supporting networks that include banks and non-banks.”

During August and early September of 2016, a research agency, working on Accenture’s behalf, interviewed 32 commercial banking professionals to learn about the evolution of the global transaction banking markets. Interviews were conducted via telephone with respondents at domestic and international banks in the United States, Canada and Europe. Respondents were asked a series of questions about the potential of blockchain/distributed ledger technology to transform the payments business.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Accenture Digital
Accenture Digital , comprised of Accenture Analytics, Accenture Interactive and Accenture Mobility, offers a comprehensive portfolio of business and technology services across digital marketing, mobility and analytics. From developing digital strategies to implementing digital technologies and running digital processes on their behalf, Accenture Digital helps clients leverage connected and mobile devices; extract insights from data using analytics; and enrich end-customer experiences and interactions, delivering tangible results from the virtual world and driving growth. To learn more about Accenture Digital, follow us @AccentureDigi and visit www.accenture.com/digital.

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