A well-functioning distributed ledger technology (DLT) offers great potential and can generate immense benefits for all participants. This way, payments networks such as SWIFT or even correspondent banking relationships can be made more secure and efficient. At the same time, the technology enables modern payment methods such as pay per use or the use of automated protocols such as smart contract.
The payment behaviour of consumers has changed fundamentally. Whereas until a few years ago cash was the predominant method of payment and hardly any other method was used apart from card payments, today it is almost a matter of course for consumers to take out their smartphones and use them to pay for their goods.
However, the new acceptance of cashless means of payment also brings with it growing consumer demands. End customers will not put up with the current costs and transit times for remittance and other cross-border payments for much longer in the face of a thoroughly digitalised world. The same applies to manual processes such as entering an IBAN.
Blockchain technology opens up a wide range of opportunities for the financial industry to increase its speed of innovation and make payment transactions even more efficient and secure. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a decentrally distributed database or register that stores data in a network in an unalterable manner. In payments, for example, cryptocurrency transactions can be traced. Within these systems, transactions between users become transparent. The data is strung together like a chain in blocks and documented transparently for all. Thus, all processes are traceable and trustworthy without the need for a central instance.
As a shared, non-modifiable journal for the history of transactions, blockchain technology will play an important role in the future. It supports the mapping of new products and business transactions and ensures more transparency when concluding contracts, digital values or payments.
The Internet of Things is becoming more and more important and makes new types of business models possible. Why the payment process needs to be automated and adapted to these models can be read in the whitepaper "The future of payments: programmable payments in the IoT sector", which is available for download here.