The State Bank of India (SBI) is planning a beta launch of smart contracts by next month, with blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) processes soon after.
According to Sudin Baraokar, head of innovation at SBI, the systems have been developed by Bankchain - a consortium of 27 banks that was launched in February to explore blockchain solutions for the banking sector.
"A lot of internal processes can be contracted. We do a lot of IT procurement, a lot of it can be implemented using blockchain."
Talking about the benefits of the Bankchain project, Baraokar said that the group shares technical expertise and allows SBI to focus on new solutions. These include smart contracts, which he said are "not regulatory heavy."
SBI has also revealed plans to set up an innovation center in Mumbai to explore new technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, among others. The hub is expected to host hackathons and incubate startups, drawing on both internal experts and outside vendors.
The innovation center is currently in the design stage and is expected to launch by the middle of next year, according to Baraokar.
Back in May, Bankchain launched a KYC platform called ClearChain, aimed to allow banks to share information about customers. The system reportedly allows for the exchange of customer information, including data on wire transfers and investigatory reports, including Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
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