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KlickEx and IBM Leverage Blockchain Technology to Improve Cross-Border Payments in the South Pacific

FinovateAsia alum KlickEx is partnering with public blockchain network builder, Stellar, and fellow Finovate alum, IBM, to improve cross-border payments for emerging markets, particularly in the South Pacific. Already processing live transactions in 12 currency corridors in the region, the solution will use IBM Blockchain to accelerate clearing and settlement on a single network in near real-time for consumers and merchants in countries like Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji.

“This is the first time anyone has made blockchain work at an institutionally viable scale,” KlickEx Group founder and CEO Robert Bell said. Underscoring KlickEx’s experience in facilitating inexpensive, real time, multi-currency payments in the area, Bell said, “this project was a natural next step following our work to create seamless and borderless payments across the Pacific.”

More than 12 banks from Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand are participating in the development and deployment process. Stellar.org’s network enables near real time settlement by issuing digital assets that serve as a foreign exchange bridge. KlickEx is the partnership’s founding financial institution for the area, supporting FIs and retail customers on the network. Planners believe that up to 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridors could be processed by the network by early 2018.

In a post at the KlickEx blog, Bell put this week’s announcement in the context of his company’s long-term focus on bringing better payments processes to regions “outside our major global banking corridors.” He wrote: “In the 90s I saw first-hand the need to help Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu improve their financial infrastructure.” He added, “We have pioneered the use of mobile apps and other emerging technologies to provide convenient, low-cost and accessible solutions to help Pacific communities with banking transactions.”

IBM presented its blockchain-based technology at our developer’s conference last year, discussing Implementation of the Hyperledger Project at IBM with Blockchain As A Service at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The company is also a Finovate alum, having recently demonstrated its Customer Insight for Banking solution at FinovateFall 2016, while the company’s security division introduced its cognitive approach to fraud detection, IBM Trusteer Rapport, at FinovateSpring 2017.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New Zealand, KlickEx demonstrated Crypto-Currency 2.0, a new global asset-backed currency for central banks, at FinovateAsia 2013. Remember Finovate returns to Asia next month for FinovateAsia 2017. To learn more about joining us in Hong Kong, November 7 and 8, visit our FinovateAsia page today.