Responding to digital era, J.P. Morgan, DBS and Temasek partner to establish blockchain-based payment platform
By Digital News Asia April 30, 2021
- Designed as open platform to encourage broad participation by banks globally
- Will leverage blockchain technology and digitise M1 commercial bank money
Acknowledging that the future of global payments is on the cusp of a fundamental shift, Singapore’s DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, announced on Wed plans to develop an open industry platform to reimagine and accelerate value movements for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement in a new digital era, through a newly-established technology company.
The company, Partior (Latin for ‘to distribute and share’), aims to disrupt the traditional cross-border payments ‘hub and spoke’ model, that has resulted in common pain points, including multiple validations on payment details by banks, which translate to costly and onerous post transaction exception handling and reconciliation activities.
Partior recognises the need for more efficient digital clearing and settlement solutions across the banking industry, and targets to address these challenges through the use of blockchain solutions to enable next generation, programmable value transfer for participating banks and their clients in real-time across a common and open platform.
The Partior platform has also set its sights on developing wholesale payments rails based on digitised commercial bank money to enable “atomic” or instantaneous settlement of payments for various types of financial transactions. Such functionality would help banks overcome challenges presented by the current standard sequential method of processing global payments.
Piyush Gupta (pic), chief executive officer, DBS Bank, said: “The current hub and spoke arrangement in global payments often results in delays as confirmations from various intermediaries are needed before a settlement is treated as final. This in turn has a knock-on effect and creates inefficiencies in the final settlement of other assets.
By harnessing the benefits of blockchain and smart contracts technology, the Partior platform will address current points of friction. The open platform will enable banks around the world to provide real-time cross-border multi-currency payments, trade finance, foreign exchange and DVP securities settlements on a world-class platform, with programmability, immutability, traceability built into its suite of services.”
Takis Georgakopoulos, Global Head of Wholesale Payments, J.P. Morgan, said: “Our newly formed business unit, Onyx by J.P. Morgan, is focused on providing clients with the best-in-class platforms as their business models and banking needs evolve over time. We believe a shared ledger infrastructure such as the Partior platform will change the way payments are cleared and settled, through this first-of-its-kind, wholesale payments rail based on digitised commercial bank money.”
“After five years of being a partner in Project Ubin, we are thrilled by the launch of Partior as it marks yet another milestone for J.P. Morgan and the industry – blockchain-based wholesale payments infrastructure where information and value can change hands around the world in a 24/7, frictionless way. J.P. Morgan is committed to being a leader in this space as our clients transition towards multiple bank platforms, de-centralised networks and programmable money.”
Chia Song Hwee (pic, right), deputy CEO, Temasek, said: “We are pleased to work alongside DBS and J.P. Morgan to create a global platform that will have tangible impact on global payments. Partnerships such as this are important in galvanising fundamental changes. Finding the right approach to payments transformation using new technologies should be a priority as we take our existing infrastructure into the next stage of digitalisation and connectivity.
“We’re also heartened by the interest from other banks and partners, and look forward to welcoming them on board as this new platform builds out,” Chia added.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore, said: “The launch of Partior is a global watershed moment for digital currencies, marking a move from pilots and experimentations towards commercialisation and live adoption. With its genesis from Project Ubin, a public-private partnership on blockchain and CBDC experimentation, Partior is a pioneering step towards providing foundational global infrastructure for transacting with digital currencies in a trusted environment, spurring a wide range of use-cases in the blockchain ecosystem.”
The operation of Partior by DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek and the completion of development, launch and availability of services on the proposed platform are subject to obtaining any required regulatory consents and approvals.
When complete, the platform aims to provide 24/7 infrastructure that will enable financial institutions and developers to co-create applications that support use cases such as FX Payment Versus Payment (PVP), Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) and Peer-to-Peer escrows to complement and value-add to global financial ecosystems.
To encourage broad participation across the banking industry, Partior will be actively engaging leading banks to join the platform to establish the scale required to benefit the industry.
The platform will start with a focus on facilitating flows primarily between Singapore-based banks in both USD and SGD, with the intent to expand service offerings to other markets and in various currencies. Partior’s platform will also be designed to complement ongoing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) initiatives and use cases.
These efforts by DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek build on their past work as part of Project Ubin3, an industry initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to explore the application of blockchain technology involving multi-currency payments and settlements.
3 To find out more about Project Ubin, please refer here.