SBI Partners With Hitachi to Build Digital Payments Platform in India

Hitachi Payment Services, the Indian-based subsidiary of Hitachi, has entered a joint venture with State Bank of India for the establishment of a digital payments platform, pending regulatory approval. The announcement comes at a time when the Supreme Court asked the Indian government to state its policy towards cryptocurrency within two weeks.

Blockchain Enthusiast State Bank of India to Establish Digital Payments Platform With Hitachi

The Indian government-owned bank is one of the founding members of the consortium called BankChain, together with IBM, Microsoft, Skylark, KPMG, Deutsche Bank, and others. In November 2017, SBI partnered with Primechain Technologies to develop an enterprise solution for self-managing KYC protocols using distributed ledger technology.

Hitachi Payments will have a 26 percent stake in the joint venture, SBI Payment, in order to benefit from the dramatic increase of digital transactions in India. Hitachi will contribute to “Digital India” with innovative solutions using its IoT platform Lumada.

In late 2017, Hitachi and Mizuho Financial Group announced a proof of concept using blockchain in supply chain management built on Lumada. Regarding blockchain-related activities, Hitachi is also participating in Hyperledger, the multi-project open source collaborative effort hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Hitachi has agreed to accelerate the digitalization of financial services in the country by linking Lumada to the digital payments platform built together with the largest state-owned commercial bank. SBI has more than 420 million customers and more than 6,00,000 POS terminals.

Hitach Payments operates ATM managed services and POS processing services for over 55,000 ATMs and 850,000 POS devices across the country, as well as the card and digital acceptance payment network of SBI since 2011. India is in great technological expansion, according to Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director of Hitachi India.

“India is progressing towards becoming a knowledge economy with technology as the pivot. Hitachi is aiding in the development of India’s social infrastructure as well as giving a fillip to the economy. This mutually beneficial partnership with the financial giant SBI will allow us to widen our footprint pan India.”

In the meantime, India continues debating the legality of cryptocurrencies as trading platforms operate in a legal grey area. The Reserve Bank banned the banking system from dealing with digital currency operators, but the central bank has no power to make cryptocurrency trading illegal.

Ever since the April circular published by the RBI, there have been contradictory actions and statements taken by various government organizations. The Supreme Court of India has recently called the government to define its policy regarding the matter.


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