Blockchain technology is widely used in financial services, whether asset management, capital market, payments, remittances, lending, banking, trade finance, or insurance. The idea of linking blockchains only with cryptocurrencies is incorrect. Instead, blockchain technology is applicable in several business sectors. The technology is still in its infancy, but it has dramatically revolutionized the business sector and will continue to do so in upcoming years. Now, let’s dive into an exciting discussion of how blockchain is facilitating the different financial sectors.
Capital markets are platforms where savings and investments are channelized between suppliers and the ones in need. The well-known capital markets are the stock market and bond market. Suppliers are either banks or investors, and the ones in need can be individuals, governments, or businesses. The categorization includes primary and secondary markets
Blockchain technology offers numerous benefits to capital markets. They are:
- Decentralized utilities will eliminate even a single point of failure
- By streamlining the operations, it will reduce costs and settlement time
- The primary feature of digitization will eliminate counterparty risks, human errors, and frauds.
- Another appealing feature that is advantageous is tokenization. The assets gain complete market access in token form, which ultimately reduces the cost of capital and increases liquidity.
Asset management deals with increasing the total wealth over time. The professionals involved in this field are called financial advisors or portfolio managers. Blockchain can efficiently enhance asset management by:
- Launching automated funds
- Digitizing assets and services that enables uninterrupted and smooth stakeholder engagement
- providing built-in privacy, which allows transaction confidentiality
- Reducing the risk of human errors and providing a better experience to users
- Enforcing incentive mechanisms that promote participation and punishing immoral activities
- Enhancing transparency
- Providing automated fund administration and automated transfer agency
Remittances and Global Payments
Global payments and remittances execute through intermediaries all over the world. The process is time-consuming and requires about 2 to 7 days. Moreover, it will cost you a pretty penny. Blockchain lessens the costs and reduces time consumption by allowing:
- Speedy and safe domestic retail payments
- Domestic wholesale and securities settlement that is fast and secure
- Safe cross border payments
- Real-time gross settlement among banks
- A digitized system that reduces the risk of scam
- Several forms of payments such as tokenized fiat, cryptocurrency, and stable coin due to the use of blockchain technology
Banking and lending
The banking services comprise mortgage, loans, transactions, and other payment services. Some processes are pretty long; for example, in loans, the verification, processing, documentation, and fund distributions require a lot of time. In such cases, blockchain drastically reduces settlement times and counterparty risks and makes banking services speedy. The technology benefits are as under:
- It provides Real-time verification, tracking, asset management, and authentic documentation.
- It streamlines the transactions
- It enables automated syndicate formation
- It enforces regulatory controls
Insurance is vulnerable to fraud. The use of blockchain in insurance procedures can safely manage data verification and disbursement, resulting in automated claims using smart contracts, reducing processing time, and providing a stable infrastructure.
Trade finance is a complete infrastructure that supports international trade supply chains. The whole process is entirely dependent on heavy documentation but is still vulnerable to security issues. The process operates on too many verifications steps, so it takes a lot of time. The use of blockchain can significantly make trade finance more efficient. It allows:
- Digitized documentation which is secure
- Speedy settlement times
- Creation of a more reliable and efficient financing structure
- Result in a consistent finance vehicle hence eliminating the use of independent finance vehicles for each stage of trade
Blockchain technology can effectively facilitate compliance. It’s essential to check that firms and institutions abide by the laws, rules, and regulations. It’s a big challenge for institutions and firms, especially those operating across borders, to keep up with the pace of regulatory change since they are vulnerable to various regulatory regimes.
Blockchain technology provides a lot of advantages. It streamlines the data verification and reporting, lessens operational friction, and eliminates errors caused due to manual auditing. All this occurs in real-time. It also improves network governance because the technology creates and enforces an incentive structure.
Financial institutes accept blockchain technology due to its impactful and powerful features that can potentially revolutionize finance. Even though the technology is in infancy, it’s beneficial to the finance sector with a few modifications and additions. It will drastically improve efficiency, user experience and eliminate all risks.