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FinTech Application: CMB Complete World’s First Blockchain-Based RMB Cross-Border Payment

In the past few days, China Merchants Bank (hereinafter short for CMB)successfully implemented a cross-border RMB remittance using blockchain technology among the three parties together with Wing Lung Bank and Wing Lung Shenzhen Branch. This is the world’s first interbank cross-border RMB clearing service based on blockchain technology. It is another great FinTech achievement and implementation of CMB to use FinTech to drive channel optimization and service upgrading under the guidance of network, data and intelligence-aimed FinTech strategy.

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The application prospect of blockchain in the finance field is widely favored, especially in the field of practicality and adaptability in cross-border payment and settlement. It is praised as “the most perfect cross-border payment “. The clearing process is safe, efficient and fast, and can dramatically improve the customer experience.

On December 18, China Merchants Bank, acting as the agency clearing bank, completed the transfer of RMB position from Wing Lung Bank of Hong Kong to Wing Lung Bank Shenzhen Branch. On December 20, the three parties completed the cross-border RMB remittance with China Merchants Haitong Trading Co., Ltd. being the remitter and Haitong (Shenzhen) Trading Co., Ltd. in Qianhai Shekou Free Trade Zone as the beneficiary. Business success marks the blockchain technology is further promoted to practical application in CMB, and the involvement of the three parties means that the program has already laid the basis for promotion and cooperation among peers.

“Our platform will be the industry’s first open platform that will thoroughly implement our concept of win-win cooperation among our peers.”

Li Gongzheng, general manager of Interbank Account Department at CMB, said,

“CMB has explored blockchain settlement for a long time, and we’re glad now this project came into effect with the goal of focusing on future FinTech cooperation with our peers. The blockchain has been ‘multi-centralized’ from its outset, meaning anyone involved in the chain is equally important, and the more access, the more effective. “

Xiong Jiandong, deputy general manager of the Information Technology Department of CMB, introduced,

“CMB’s continuous invests and exploration in the area of blockchain help to independently develop lots of technology innovations including editable blockchain, zero-knowledge-proof based privacy protection, internet contract verification, identification and verification of allied members, as well as interfered real-time supervision, etc. Using the leading technology, it overcomes obstacles that plague the application of blockchain and forms an automated-controlled and generalized blockchain with multi-party collaboration.”

Using blockchain’s distributed accounting, funds clearing information on the chain is recorded synchronously, shared and updated on time, in this way, its clearing efficiency achieves a great leap. Blockchain cross-border settlement technology focuses on efficient and safe delivery of information and complements the traditional payment channels, thereby avoiding the legitimacy and regulatory issues faced by blockchain e-money.

Li introduced that CMB’s promoting cross-border RMB interbank settlement based on blockchain is not only an embrace for the FinTech, but providing a good way to get rid of the troubles in existing business operations and customer service. After years’ developing, especially as the first to join CIPS (China International Payment System) in 2015, the number of serviced clients in cross-border RMB business in CMB has been over 200, with amount exceeding RMB 1 trillion per year. In the traditional cross-border settlement, it involves with many parties, “if the previous party has not completed its section, it will stop the next party from acting. In the event of modification on remittance information or query, all the info communication occurred on the way would bring a lot of costs, and even may have devastating impact on the clearing efficiency.” In the blockchain mode, all parties related to clearing settlement are involved in the chain, so it not only saves labor and time, also improves user experience. Prior to the completion of the first cross-border RMB interbank settlement business based on blockchain technology, both CMB and Wing Lung Bank have been piloted blockchain-based cross-border payment in the foreign currency system since February this year, over 23,000 transactions were completed with the amount being more than 3.5 billion Yuan.

Li also said that regarding CMB’s future plan,

  • firstly we plan to have all our overseas institutions join this global blockchain of cross-border settlement,
  • and the next step is to share this technology with our peers to build a more extensive interbank blockchain payment platform and achieve multi-win for parties involved.

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