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Provincial Filipino Banks Look Toward Blockchain Technology To Improve Performance

Several provincial banks in the Philippines are reportedly keen to adopt blockchain technology as they look to better financial relations with local residents and businesses.

According to a report delivered by the Philippine Information Agency on Wednesday, multiple provincial banks throughout the Philippines are looking toward blockchain technology to help strengthen their relations with local residents and business people by improving the speed and quality of financial transactions.

The initiative has been dubbed Project i2i, and has been led by one of the country’s largest banks, the Union Bank of the Philippines. The project prescribes the use the Kaleido blockchain platform, which has been developed by ConsenSys. ConsenSys itself is a well-regarded Ethereum-based startup company.

Justo Ortiz, the chairman of UnionBank first let slip information on Project i2i back last week at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York. Wednesday’s report reveals that financial and bank-to-bank transactions in much of the Philippines are still mainly processed manually and “paper-based.” The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, so integration with Manila’s and other major cities’ SWIFT network is considered too difficult and complex.

Project i2i  will formally begin with seven rural banks including Cantilan, and will be looking to connect rural banks with the country’s premium financial networks via a blockchain-powered payment platform. Cantilan is one of the Philippine’s largest community banks, and its Executive President Tanya Hotchkiss was quoted as saying that in the past, bank-to-bank transactions could take up to a month to complete.

This latest blockchain-based project comes hot on the heels of a similar project that was led by Union Bank. In that incident, Union Bank partnered with five provincial banks in the Philippines in an effort to integrate Visa’s blockchain-based payment system, and rapidly improve both the speed and efficiency of their transaction processes.

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