Global Fintech: Realtime Payments Come to Malaysia; HSBC Completes Blockchain Deal; ABN Amro Puts On Wearables

There is a lot going on in fintech and digital banking around the world, not just the U.S., where Bank Innovation is based. The editorial team has compiled a biweekly list of the global events making waves beyond America’s shores.

Malaysia switches to realtime payments

Malaysian banks went live with realtime payments this week. The country’s central bank, together with a coalition of local banks called Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), completed the first phase of setting up the new realtime rails earlier this week. The platform is called DuitNow, and is powered by technology provider ACI Worldwide, according to the official releaseMalaysian consumers can now make P2P payments in realtime, with just the recipient’s mobile phone, passport or identity card numbers with this new country-wide payments platform.

In contrast, the U.S. bank-backed P2P service Zelle might show a realtime transaction on the sender’s and recipient’s phones, but the actual transfer of money takes at least 24 hours.

HSBC Bank completes $250 billion in transactions using blockchain

HSBC announced earlier this week that it made over 150,000 payments totaling $250 billion using distributed ledger technology via its HSBC FX Everywhere tool in 2018. The bank started testing the use of DLT in trade finance and cross-border payments early last year. Then, in May, HSBC announced it completed a line-of-credit transaction, establishing a practical use case of blockchain in trade finance.

Richard Bibbey, interim global head, FX and commodities, HSBC, stated in Monday’s announcement:

The global, cross-border nature of HSBC and its clients sees us conducting thousands of foreign exchange transactions within the bank, across multiple balance sheets, in dozens of countries. HSBC FX Everywhere uses distributed ledger technology to drastically increase the efficiency of these internal flows. Following successful implementation inside the bank, we are now exploring how this technology could help multinational clients – who also have multiple treasury centers and cross-border supply chains – better manage foreign exchange flows within their organizations.

Dutch Bank ABN Amro rolls out contactless wearables after a yearlong pilot 

After a trial early last year, the Dutch bank ABN Amro today announced that it rolled out contactless payment capabilities on wearables. This feature is available on smartwatches from Garmin International, Mondaine, and Olympic, as well as smart rings by Laks and K-ring that have Mastercard-certified payment chips.

In January 2018, the bank tested the capabilities with 500 customers, as Bank Innovation previously reported. Now users can link their bank accounts in the wearable and use it to make payments. According to the announcement, consumers need to authenticate payments with their PINs on purchases over €25. There is also a €250 spend limit per day.

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