Stories: Polish Banks go paperless with EIC-funded Blockchain solution from Billon Group
Can a blockchain innovation build paperless offices across businesses and organisations? The British-Polish fintech Billon Group says yes. The company provides a Blockchain Platform powered by distributed ledger technology (DLT), based on a new type of architecture storing full documents entirely in the blockchain.
Last month, retail banks in Poland started providing customers with notifications of commissions and fees changes on blockchain via a new document management product offered by the Polish Credit Bureau (BIK, or Biuro Informacji Kredytowej in Polish). BIK is using the Blockchain Platform provided by the British-Polish fintech Billon Group. The aim is to eliminate paper-based client-facing notifications in the polish banks, as well as to fully comply with the European Union's financial records-related regulations, including the European Union's MiFID II and GDPR.
Under this new approach, banks' encrypted notifications and legal agreements with clients will be stored on a distributed ledger, accessible via a portal managed by the credit bureau. Customers can rely on having authentic and immutable documentation that the bank cannot change, and which is available even when they are no longer clients of the bank.
"Managing documents on DLT is a much safer and cheaper solution than using paper," said Wojtek Kostrzewa, CEO of Billon Group. "It is gratifying to see banks as progressive institutions taking advantage of the regulatory compliant 'civilised blockchain' solutions Billon developed specifically for regulated industries like these", he added.
A tamper-proof database
The news came amidst the growing concern that traditional documentation and delivery methods – including e-mail, internal banking communications and paper delivery – fall short of today's increased need for security and authentication. The BIK Blockchain Platform assigns a unique address to every document and distributes the data to many network nodes in a way that provides extremely high database resilience and individual document tamper resistance.
"This launch marks the first step of commercialisation of the BIK Blockchain Platform. This version eliminates the need for paper notifications. Further versions will focus on streamlining complex multi-party processes and expand to other market sectors in Poland," said BIK CEO Mariusz Cholewa.
The tamper-proof and immutable nature of this blockchain innovation makes it the most preferred choice of implementation for the banking, but also for other sectors. BIK CEO, Mariusz Cholewa, highlighted that the launch of the BIK Blockchain Platform marks the first step of the product's commercialisation. Further versions will expand to other applications outside the banking industry, including storing legal agreements, insurance claims or other high-value documents.
Billon group was supported by numerous R&D grants, including a Phase 2 grant from the European Innovation Council. Today, its offices in London and Warsaw employ an international team of over 80 people.