The first Blockchain Bizhackathon organised by BNP Paribas on Transaction Banking activities has just ended. Initiated by the Corporate Trade and Treasury Solutions team, the aim was to assess real-world potential blockchain technology applications for use in both trade finance and cash management.
In the context of the digital transformation of BNP Paribas and the Bank studying blockchain technology since 2011, the Corporate Trade and Treasury Solutions team started to reflect on potential direct blockchain applications for use in its business activities.
During two days, more than 70 participants (transversal teams from BNP Paribas, clients, blockchain experts and FinTechs) gathered to explore how this new technology could concretely improve both the customer experience and the efficiency of the services offered in the following six areas of transaction banking:
- Cash management & correspondent banking
- Trade finance & documentation
- Supply chain upstream: inventory management
- Supply chain downstream: payables & receivables
- Commodity financing
- Open account
Thanks to the highly collaborative work produced during the two days, promising ideas emerged. They will now be further analysed and deepened over the course of the year, in order to assess their true potential and actual feasibility in a reasonable timeframe.
Marc Carlos, Head of Corporate Trade and Treasury Solutions, BNP Paribas, explains: “Our first ‘bizhackathon’ helped us to highlight the opportunities of the blockchain for our flow financing activities and our financial services to corporate treasurers, as well as its potential applications to improve our practices, review and optimise our processes, and reinforce the reliability, traceability and security of our transactions”.
“Our clients’ contribution over the two days was invaluable because it helped us, not only to understand their needs, but also to reflect together on how to reinvent the way in which we can work together to enhance the quality and relevance of our client solutions. The presence of internationally-renowned experts in Blockchain technology in each of our groups also helped us to work in an agile and rapid way, accelerating the process of reflecting on, and analysing the options”.
For BNP Paribas, which has also joined international (R3) and European (CDC) initiatives, and has just announced its acquisition of a stake in the FinTech, Digital Asset Holdings, the blockchain could be a real driver of innovation in banking practices, and therefore beneficial to all its clients.