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21st century banking with blockchain technology

Monday 01.08.2016 Thomas Brenzikofer
Thomas Brenzikofer

Thomas Brenzikofer ist stellvertretender Geschäftsführer von i-net innovation networks und Member of the Board bei swiss made software.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to process financial transactions faster. Financial institutions will need to venture into this new world. And this is precisely where Incentage can help: easing this transition with smooth integrations.

Who will the customer of the future trust the most? Blockchain technology or their bank? (© ras-slava/Fotolia)

Blockchain technology will revolutionize the world of finance. Felix Huber, CEO of Incentage, is a strong believer in its potential. He is equally convinced that this upheaval represents a great opportunity for his company. This is not without reason: it was an upheaval like this that originally led to the company’s foundation.

After the turn of the millennium, when his former employer was unable to commit to renewing the integration platform Huber had developed and invest in web technologies, in 2002, Huber decided to go it alone with three business partners and strategic investors.

And they were successful. Today this Swiss financial transactions specialist employs 30 people in Zurich and 150 specialists worldwide. The success of the business means Incentage is now in a position to finance its expansion using its own capital. Huber says this is a decisive advantage: “Our customers want an independent partner with a long-term focus. A start-up financed by venture capital can’t offer that.”

Economic nonsense

Trust is the most valuable asset in the financial sector. Until now, banks have been responsible for ensuring the proper processing of financial transactions, and their customers rewarded them with respectable fees. Blockchain technology, which has been made more respectable by Bitcoin, now allows this trust to be manufactured on an industrial scale. There is a simple trick: the rules that govern transactions between A and B are recorded in an unalterable public ledger.

The information banks used to receive through fax, telephone and data channels and then process using partly automated and partly manual systems can now be processed directly within a transactions platform. This of course does away with one of the banks’ sources of income. But this is not to say that banks will be made obsolete. After all, users need a bank account at both the entry and exit point of these transactions. This is where the joint solution offered by Incentage and Lykke comes into play. The project was initiated by Richard Olsen and set up as a distributed autonomous corporation. Lykke will be established as a blockchain market for financial transactions, and the Incentage Software Suite provides secure access for financial institutions that wish to use this system.

This has all turned Incentage’s existing revenue model on its head. Rather than earning revenue through large client projects and software licenses, the company will earn its revenue on a per-transaction basis. A large volume is needed in order to succeed, and this means that blockchain technology must also become a widespread and dominant technology. Huber says this is a question of economics: “Imagine the current financial system without the need to establish trust. It quickly becomes apparent that many existing systems are inefficient, cumbersome, and economic nonsense. This is something blockchain technology stands ready to change.

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