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Alberta Bank collaborates to send first real international blockchain payment

Alberta-based ATB Financial has collaborated with software company SAP, financial technology start-up Ripple Labs Inc. and German-based ReiseBank to send the world’s first real-time payment from Canada to Germany using blockchain technology.

According to the official release, the Alberta bank has successfully transferred CAD$1,000 to ReiseBank. The transaction took place using a network built on SAP technology and Ripple’s network of enterprise blockchain solutions.

“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,” chief strategy and operations officer at ATB Financial, Curtis Stange said.

The payment was completed in about 20 seconds. SAP and Ripple along with the team at ATB Financial designed and built a proof-of-concept prototype based on the technology in nine working days. This prototype demonstrated how financial institutions can improve the efficiency of cross-border payments. SAP used a mobile user interface for the demonstration through which the payment was executed.

"Banks like ATB that take a positive and proactive approach to blockchain now can position themselves advantageously for when the technology enters the mainstream," Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation said. "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."

The prototype connects SAP HANA Cloud Platform which is the open platform as a service from SAP and also connects SAP Payment Engine application, which centralizes payment processing in one solution, with Ripple's network.

"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," Stange added.

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