Wells Fargo & Company has announced plans to pilot an internal settlement service, Wells Fargo Digital Cash, which will run on the bank's first distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform.
Wells Fargo Digital Cash is designed to allow the bank to complete internal book transfers of cross-border payments within its global network using digitised cash - and for those international locations to exchange that digitised cash among themselves. To date, Wells Fargo has successfully proven the concept of moving value between the US and Canada. The internal DLT network will be a reusable enterprise utility for Wells Fargo to build and deploy multiple DLT-based applications.
“As a result of the increasing digitisation of banking services globally, we see a growing demand to further reduce friction regarding traditional borders, and today’s technology puts us in a strong position to do that,” said Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. “We believe DLT holds promise for a variety of use cases, and we’re energised to take this significant step in applying the technology to banking in a material and scalable way. Wells Fargo Digital Cash has the potential to enable Wells Fargo to remove barriers to real-time financial interactions across multiple accounts in multiple marketplaces around the world.”
DLT provides a permanent, secure and trusted record of transactions. Wells Fargo Digital Cash will run on DLT and will help Wells Fargo achieve near real-time money movement without impact to the underlying account, transaction postings or reconcilement infrastructure with international transactions (where platforms and process differ). The bank's global locations will be able to exchange funds in expanded operating hours without limitations from traditional posting infrastructure or differences in infrastructure across the network. Final settlement will occur without the need for third parties, reducing transfer time and costs. Corporate clients will not have to change their payment processes, cash management responsibilities or relationship management practices to benefit.
The pilot, planned for 2020, is expected to complete US dollar transfers initially, with a goal to expand to multicurrency transfers and the entire global Wells Fargo branch network. The internal DLT network is proprietary and will not be connected to any other digital cash solutions emerging in the financial services markets today.
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