ATB Financial Sends Payments From Canada to Germany Using Blockchain Technology Supported by SAP

ATB Financial, the largest Alberta-based financial institution, has collaborated with SAP SE, FinTech start-up Ripple Labs Inc. and ReiseBank AG in Germany, to send the first international corporate blockchain payment from Canada to Germany.

CA$1,000 was successfully transferred by ATB to ReiseBank using a network built on SAP® technology and Ripple’s network of blockchain solutions. The payment, which would have taken between two to six business days to process using traditional methods because of requirements such as settling with the counterparty bank and reconciling accounts, was completed in around 20 seconds.

Curtis Stange, chief strategy and operations officer at ATB Financial, commented: “Although we are very much still in the early stages of blockchain adoption, it was highly encouraging to see in a true demonstration the potential it has in transforming cross-border payments, making them almost instantaneous and reducing potential errors. Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform, we’re able to experiment and be nimble with emerging innovations like blockchain. The next stage for us, working with SAP and Ripple, will be to understand how the front-end experience should work for the benefit of our customers,” he added.

Working with a team at ATB Financial, SAP and Ripple designed and built a proof-of-concept prototype based on the technology in nine working days. It demonstrated how banks can improve the efficiency of cross-border payments to enhance their global networks and be competitive on the world stage. The technology prototype connects SAP HANA® Cloud Platform, the open platform as a service from SAP, and the SAP Payment Engine application, which centralizes payment processing in one solution, with Ripple’s network. For the demonstration, SAP provided a mobile user interface through which the payment was executed.

Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation, Bernd Leukert remarked: “Banks like ATB that take a positive and proactive approach to blockchain now can position themselves advantageously for when the technology enters the mainstream. ATB’s blockchain transaction underscores the value of running a business on a full-fledged digital core so it can react quickly to emerging possibilities and avoid the threat of disruption.”