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Express Computer: Cognizant’s Senior Vice President of Banking and Financial Services Says the Company is Making Focused Investments in Building Blockchain Competencies

“Putting Blockchain at the heart of any transaction involving intermediaries represents significant business potential for Cognizant,” says Nachiket Deshpande. “We see huge opportunities in areas such as trade and settlement, loyalty, payments, trade and supply chain finance in the financial services industry.” Excerpts:

“Our engagement with Mizuho Financial Group is a testimony to the growing adoption of Blockchain in this industry. Beyond financial services, we are also witnessing increasing traction for Blockchain in industries such as retail, insurance, healthcare, media & entertainment, and energy.

To support our Blockchain vision, we are making focused investments in building competencies around various open source frameworks across the stack of technologies and are working with specific Blockchain start-up firms. Internally, we are investing in our Digital Business Lab to build Blockchain POCs (proofs of concept) and frameworks that help clients rapidly assess the applicability and implementation of the technology.

The adoption of blockchain requires strong industry collaboration across stakeholders, including agreement on standards and protocols. We are building a world-class alliance ecosystem by partnering with FinTech companies and, through organizations such as the Digital Chamber, are also engaged in industry efforts to build awareness.

We see greater Blockchain-related awareness in client organizations across varied groups beyond IT. It is also a common feature in our conversations with clients, many of whom express a strong intent to explore the applicability of Blockchain to their businesses. Our co-innovation workshops, research papers and publications are helping us disseminate the knowledge further.

In India, the majority of the population is still not a part of the mainstream financial system. The reach of the traditional banking system is seen as the common barrier, resulting from challenges in delivering financial services to rural areas. Blockchain can truly help banks reduce their back-office and intermediary infrastructure costs to render services in a cost-effective manner.

High dependency on paper currency is a major risk for a huge economy such as India. With Blockchain at the center, India can reduce the use of cash by digitizing the currency. The RBI has already taken a proactive step in this direction by publishing papers highlighting the benefits of digital currency innovation using Blockchain.

Personal identity is also an important consideration for the Indian government in ensuring inclusive roll-out of public schemes. The secure and transparent nature of Blockchain, coupled with Aadhaar’s deep reach, can significantly address the nation’s personal identification concerns.”

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