Interswitch Partners Microsoft on Blockchain Technology

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Ugo Aliogo and Deborah Orji

Interswitch Group, a Pan-African integrated digital payment company, in partnership with Microsoft, has expressed desire to launch an innovative blockchain-based supply chain financing service.

The initiative brings together entrepreneurs, major financial institutions and corporates organisations, all on a single platform, to provide end-to-end visibility that would ensure fast and seamless trade financing in supply chain operations.

The Interswitch Blockchain Service (Supply Chain Finance Module) which is built and hosted using the Microsoft Azure Blockchain technology, provides a proven security, compliance and scalable cloud platform that accelerates and supports the next generation of blockchain applications.

Speaking at a media briefing on the initiative, the Group Managing Director, Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, said in the 15 years of operation of the company, it has experienced bottlenecks associated with the existing corporate-based financing infrastructure in the country.

“That is why we are happy to partner with Microsoft, by leveraging the advanced technology of the Microsoft Azure Blockchain, to prove the possibility of building a distributed ledger that is practical, viable and has the propensity to solve some of Nigeria’s most difficult financial and logistic problems,” Elegbe noted.

Elegbe added: “Interswitch, in collaboration with Microsoft, has built a platform that will allow anyone to build blockchain-based solutions easily and more cost effectively. It is truly blockchain for everyone with lower costs and shorter time.”

In his remarks, Principal Programme Manager, Microsoft Azure Blockchain at Microsoft Corporation, Michael Glaros, expressed delight about the partnership.

He also stated that the initiative would be the first enterprise-grade blockchain service in the country, adding that the service is one of the handful production blockchain applications in use by banks and corporates globally.

He further stated that blockchain technology is still in its infancy in the country and they are happy to pioneer its deployment in partnership with Interswitch.

According to Glaros, “The blockchain technology is still in its infancy in Nigeria and we are happy to pioneer its deployment in partnership with Interswitch, an innovative and forward-thinking company which has evolved its business around financial technology.”

The Interswitch Blockchain Service, armed with a single version of the truth across the supply chain, allows Nigerian lenders and suppliers to identify and build relationships with high performing entrepreneurs.