Reports out today discuss how the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), one of the top 10 banks in the Philippines is falling out of love with SWIFT, its current remittance service provider. As a result of this, RCBC are turning to IBM who have paid particular interest in blockchain technology in order to explore how such technology can improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of remittance services, for overseas Filipino workers (OFws’s). Initially, this will see IBM used to provide payment services to overseas workers from the Philippines who are working in Japan.
According to CCN:
“In the Philippines, cash remittances hit a record $31.3 billion in 2017 while personal remittances from overseas nationals reached a new high of $3 billion. In April 2018, cash remittances from OFw’s in Japan totalled over $137 million, making it the Philippines’ biggest source of remittance. It’s no surprise then that the bank is targeting the Japan-Philippines remittance corridor.”
Moreover, according to an official from RCBC:
“Why is the RCBC looking to pivot away from the global inter-banking system powered by SWIFT to a decentralized system without an overseeing middleman or other parties? It’s cheaper, faster and real-time.”
“You will not need SWIFT anymore because it’s expensive. Remittance will happen in real time, bypassing all other parties.”
You can see the full article by CCN for yourself, here-
It is clear that RCBC will benefit from working alongside IBM to improve this service, however, we should consider the possibility that Stellar could get involved here too. Let’s face it, with $137 Million per month in remittance to OFw’s, Stellar would be pretty silly not to try and tap into this, especially considering they already have established ties with IBM.
This report by GlobalCoinReport from a few months back highlights some of the important factors that link Stellar and IBM:
Overall, this is going to provide RCBC access to a brand-new technology that will no doubt be used to branch out into their other services too, including domestic payments and standard money transfers. Blockchain technology and Stellar technology of course has great implications for this move by RCBC so therefore we hope to see news resonating this sentiment soon enough. We can’t guarantee it will happen yet, but likewise we can’t see why it won’t. IBM’s interaction is already confirmed so therefore, it only seems naturally that at the very least, Stellar assist IBM in the management of this new project. Hopefully though, they will want a little more than just that.