Standard Bank completes pilot of TCS Quartz blockchain technology

25 October 2018 3 min. read

One of South Africa’s big four banking institutions, Standard Bank has completed a pilot with new blockchain technology by the name of Quartz, designed by Indian IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services. The new technology primarily facilitates cross-border corporate action and the exchange of information.

Much has been said of South Africa’s readiness for the digital revolution, given the country’s struggle with slow economic growth and high unemployment rates. Many small firms have been reluctant to integrate the latest technology into their operations, primarily due to the high costs involved.

Further, within the various domains of industry 4.0, certain technological enhancements such as Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence have appeared to gain more popularity than others such as blockchain technology, although this scenario appears to be shifting.

Leaders of the country’s business world have been calling for innovation and are directing the country towards a more open approach. Analysis has shown that the country’s top banking institutions, for instance, are expected to be hit the earliest and hardest by digital disruption, which explains the latest move from Standard Bank to pilot new blockchain technology.

Standard Bank completes pilot of TCS Quartz blockchain technology

The big four banking institution has selected the Quartz blockchain solution from TCS as its technology of choice. QQuartz is designed specifically to service the financial services and banking sectors, structured ideally to facilitate cooperation between the various actors involved in the sector.

These include commercial and private banks, market infrastructure institutions, custodians, insurance companies, asset & wealth management firms, registrars, transfer agents and a whole host of others. The solutions allows for minimising duplication and maximizing transparency in banking operations.

Commenting on the pilot, Head of Investor Services and Financial Institutions at the Standard Bank Group Charls Bruyns said, “Standard Bank’s digital strategy focuses on leveraging innovative technology, driving Africa’s growth by building the continent’s digital economy. As Africa’s largest Investor Services provider we are also committed to driving the development of African capital markets.”

“As such, we are excited to be part of a pilot which has conclusively demonstrated the ability of Quartz Blockchain to support seamless information exchange between capital market participants. In addition, we are particularly proud of the TCS BaNCS solution that Standard Bank used to connect to Quartz Blockchain. This innovation enabled us to complete the pilot in record time. The results of this successful technology pilot presents exciting opportunities for Africa to deepen innovation, increase efficiency and drive integration in its capital markets. Standard Bank will continue to work with TCS to explore ways to develop future-ready digital solutions for all our stakeholders,” he added.