Fintech, banks: starting the blockchain in Italy


The update of the Agreement for the maintenance of reciprocal accounts between banks with regard to the interbank check was approved. In perspective this allows the development of the check process in a new mode, ie using the distributed register technology, the so-called Distributed ledger technology (DLT), starting from 1 in March of next year. It is therefore a blockchain for banks operating in Italy. A new step forward in the concrete use of the blockchain. Spunta Project, the program coordinated by #Abi Lab, the research and innovation center for the bank promoted by the Italian Banking Association, has in fact the objective of applying the DLT to interbank processes. The purpose is greater visibility of information, more speed of execution and possibility of checks directly on the application. And this with the technical partners NTT Data and Sia, as well as Corda di R3 for the platform. The nodes, born for the Spunta, can then represent operational structures for other functionalities.

The interbank check
The Spunta process is the set of activities to reconcile the flows and operations that give rise to entries in the Italian mutual accounts. This field also includes the management of the suspended, through actions to reach their accommodation.
The banks and Abi Lab worked on Spunta Project with the aim of simplifying and standardizing the bank reconciliation process at national level, providing for the use of technology based on distributed registers, the Dlt blockchain precisely. The investigations carried out led to the updating of the Agreement in the chapter on the subject.

The new principles
The basics of the new operations are:
full visibility of own and counterparty movements; rapidity in the management of flows relating to reciprocal accounts, with reconciliation on a daily basis instead of a monthly basis; sharing the rules for checking the movements symmetrically between the counterparty banks; integrated management of communications and processes in case of imbalance.
Based on the updated provisions of the Agreement, starting from 1 March 2020 will be implemented the gradual transition from the traditional check to that based on DLL blockchain technology.

ICT investments
According to the latest ABI-CIPA survey on IT in the Italian banking sector of the 2018, investments in IT have increased by 5,7%, continuing the growth trend already seen since the 2014. In terms of value, in the 2017 the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) has exceeded the 4,2 billion euro threshold, remaining almost stable in the 2018.
The central role attributed to technology and the constant drive for innovation in the Italian banking sector are also confirmed by the 14 ° ABI Lab Report: for 88,5% of the analyzed realities the ICT budget for 2019 appears to be increasing or stable compared to that of the 2018, mainly for the benefit of digital channels and mobile banking services, openness to the outside, adaptation of infrastructures, Data Governance initiatives and management and mitigation of cyber risk.

Fintech, banks: starting the blockchain in Italy