ICICI Bank Moves the Digital Way, Executes India’s First Banking Transactions on Blockchain

ICICI Bank announced that that it has successfully executed transactions in international trade finance and remittance using blockchain technology in partnership with Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the Middle East.

ICICI claims that it’s the first bank in the country and among the first few globally to exchange and authenticate remittance transaction messages, as well as original international trade documents related to purchase order, invoice, shipping & insurance, among others, electronically on blockchain in real time.

For the uninitiated, blockchain is a decentralised ledger of transactions, agreements, contracts etc, that gives all the participating entities including banks the ability to access a single source of information. The ledger is not stored in one particular place, but distributed across several, hundreds or even thousands of computers around the world, making it accessible to everyone in the network.

In this case, the blockchain application co-created by ICICI Bank enabled all the parties, viz, the importer in Mumbai; ICICI Bank, Mumbai; the exporter in Dubai and Emirates NBD, Dubai to view the data in real time. It also enabled them to track documentation and authenticate ownership of assets digitally, as an un-alterable ledger in real time.

This facilitated the stakeholders to execute a trade finance transaction through a series of encrypted and secure digital contracts. Further, it allowed each participant to check online the status of the application, transfer of title and transmission of original trade documents through a secure network, while preserving client and commercial confidentiality.

“ICICI Bank has a rich legacy of leveraging the latest technology to bring in new paradigms in banking. Akin to pioneering new technologies in the country like software robotics, mobility and near-field communication among others…I envision that the emerging technology of blockchain will play a significant role in banking in the coming years by making complex bilateral and multi-lateral banking transactions seamless, quick and more secure,” said Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank.