'Big Four' Irish Banks Join Blockchain Payments Pilot

Two of Ireland’s ‘Big Four’ banks are taking part in a blockchain payments trial organized by professional services firm Deloitte.

According to The Irish Times, Ulster Bank is among several institutions participating. Along with Ulster Bank, AIB and Permanent TSB are testing the tech for use as a domestic payment rail. Those involved have framed the test as an R&D effort, and there’s no indication as of yet whether it could lead to any kind of production launch.

The pilot is being based on a solution previously developed by Royal Bank of Scotland (of which Ulster Bank is a subsidiary). RBS has detailed some of its work with blockchain in the past, highlighting an in-house cryptocurrency in late 2015.

It was developments at RBS, a representative for Ulster Bank told the Times, that led to the new initiative.

“When we saw that RBS had that capability, we decided to use the platform in the Republic. We looked at how we could prove it at an industry level and looked at doing collaboration at an industry level,” Ciarán Coyle, Ulster Bank’s chief admin officer, explained.

In recent months, Ireland has played home to a number of blockchain projects among financial firms in the country. Deloitte itself opened a research lab dedicated to the tech in January.

Dublin image via Shutterstock

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