DBS, Temasek and JPMorgan have set up a joint venture company that will use distributed ledger technology to challenge the cumbersome hub-and-spoke model applied to traditional cross-border payment flow.
The new ventures, dubbed Partior, has it roots in project Ubin, a blockchain-based protytpe for multi-currency payments developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in partnership with JPMorgan and Temasek.
In July, MAS completed a fifth and final phase of testing of the platform through workshops conducted with more than 40 financial and non-financial firms.
Project Ubin Phase 5 validated the use of smart contracts on the payments network prototype in use cases such as Delivery-versus-Payment (DvP) settlement with assets on private exchanges, conditional payments and escrow for trade, as well as payment commitments for trade finance.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore, says: “The launch of Partior is a global watershed moment for digital currencies, marking a move from pilots and experimentations towards commercialisation and live adoption. 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.”
Open to banks worldwide, the commercial applications of the payments network include cross-border payments in multiple currencies, foreign currency exchange, settlement of foreign currency denominated securities, as well as integration with other blockchain-based platforms.
Partior 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.
Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of wholesale payments, JPMorgan, says: “Our newly formed business unit, Onyx by JPMorgan, 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."