SWIFT and Accenture outline path to distributed ledger technology in Financial Services

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 5.02PM / Mondo

New Paper Analyses The Opportunities And Challenges Of Distributed Ledger Technology In Financial Services; Identifies Key Factors For Success

SWIFT announces today the availability of a new paper investigating how Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) could be used in financial services. Published in collaboration with Accenture, the paper is based on an in-depth technology assessment by SWIFT of DLT usage across financial institutions, highlighting the opportunities as well as the challenges for industry wide adoption. 

As a result of the technology assessment, SWIFT and Accenture identified gaps between existing DLT solutions and industry requirements, including eight critical factors that need to be addressed for the technology to achieve industry-wide adoption. The paper also highlights SWIFT’s research and plans to build technical, operational and business capabilities with a view to evolve its platform such that DLT-based services could be offered, when the technology matures and business use cases emerge across multiple verticals.

“Since the emergence of DLTs, the financial services industry has been looking for answers to questions about the potential use of these new technologies,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT. “The technology assessment has given us valuable insights into the necessary requirements for DLTs to succeed in financial services. It provides a clear state-of-play, outlining the different factors the technology needs to address, and the current maturity of DLTs in each of these areas. SWIFT is committed working with its community to identify areas in which the technology can provide the greatest benefits, evolving at a pace that works for each customer.”

Based on the assessment, the eight critical factors that need to be addressed for industry wide adoption of DLTs include:

1.       Strong governance

2.      Data controls

3.      Compliance with regulatory requirements

4.      Standardisation

5.      Identity framework

6.      Security and cyber defence

7.      Reliability

8.     Scalability


David Treat, a managing director and global head of Accenture’s Capital Markets Blockchain practice says: “The financial services industry is moving from an educational phase, into an application phase when it comes to DLTs. We now have a strong understanding of DLT and its benefits, but we need to identify which areas are best suited, as the technology will not be a silver bullet to solve all business issues. The SWIFT and Accenture paper provides the industry with a blueprint for reaching the next step in identifying how to apply DLTs.”


With a goal for wide-spread industry adoption, and as a Board Member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project – a key industry initiative on DLTs – SWIFT will continue to collaborate with the wider financial industry to evolve open source blockchain technology and build the foundation of a production grade DLT. Innotribe, SWIFT’s innovation arm, will also continue to facilitate collaboration between established financial institutions and financial technology companies on proof of concepts that could lead to tangible DLT solutions for the industry.


For more information about SWIFT’s position on DLTs or to download a copy of the paper, please click here.

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