SBS Bank in New Zealand is looking at blockchain and how the technology could impact customer account usability within its banking network.

Local news source The Southland Times has reported that the bank recently discussed both cryptocurrency and blockchain at a recent SBS annual meeting, after which the bank’s group chief executive Shaun Drylie made the following statement:

“We think, and the common consensus is, that it has real merit. Cryptocurrencies, we’re not too sure, and if you look at the volatility of cryptocurrencies that would suggest the market is not too sure as well.”

The statement is in line with the general “wait and see” stance taken my many banks regarding the future of cryptocurrency and the positive views being increasingly adopted by global banking that blockchain technology has the credibility to enhance overweighted and outmoded internal systems.

Although SBS has not confirmed that it has any plans to integrate blockchain-backed systems into its internal system, there are other Australasian banks who’ve already made a firmer commitment to take the next step.

One of these is one of Australia’s big four banks, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). Seven banks including ANZ are to launch a trade finance platform this September using blockchain. The platform is reported to be one of the largest government-led cross-bank cooperation globally. ANZ is also using blockchain to replace some internal paper-based internal systems at within the banking group,

New Zealand’s Minister of State for Trade and Export Damien O’Connor is positive there is a real desire in the government to be in the vanguard of promoting new technologies in the region. He stated:

“Blockchain development represents an exciting new frontier for startups in New Zealand and it’s great to see that going on in our regions with such strong international support.”

It remains to be seen how quickly New Zealand’s enthusiasm for blockchain startups spreads into the country’s banking system.


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