Accenture partners with Thai bank on blockchain tool


American management consultancy company Accenture said last week it is partnering with Siam Commercial Bank to release a blockchain tool to help businesses better manage supply chains, as Thai banks continue to push forward with financial technology research and development.

Accenture partnered with Digital Ventures Co. Ltd., the technology subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, on the blockchain solution, which has already gone live with its first clients. Named Procure-to-Pay or B2P, it uses Corda, a blockchain platform developed by the firm R3 as the basis of its technology.

In a press release announcing the launch of the tool, the companies said, “The technology could offer reductions in cost and processing times while beefing up security and removing middlemen and the accompanying inefficiencies.”

Along with Digital Ventures, SCG, a Thai firm that is the largest building materials company in Southeast Asia, also participated in the development of the blockchain tool. SCG and Siam Commercial Bank are the two oldest companies in the Kingdom. Established more than a century ago, they nonetheless have remained at the forefront of business in Thailand in terms of adopting forward-looking strategies and practices, and clean, transparent management.

“Supply chains represent an extremely complex industry, as a result of which
multiple actors have begun implementing blockchain-based innovation in the sector,’’ wrote Cointelegraph, a financial technology website.

Supply chains fall under the realm of logistics, one o the 10 S-Curve industries that Thailand is promoting and incentivizing under Thailand 4.0, the 20-year national strategy to move the country towards advanced technological development.

“The most exciting part of the blockchain solution is that the outcome is so tangible: the efficiency improvement, the cost reduction and the convenience that all stakeholders have experienced with this platform,” said Divyesh Vithlani, head of Accenture’s Financial Services practice in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Revenue Department said last week that it is also planning to employ blockchain tools and technology to examine the tax filings of companies and speed up tax returns.

Machine learning will be used to study how taxes are evaded, enabling revenue officials to track tax fraud and create more transparency efficiently, said Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the head of the department.

Ekniti has said that adopting new technologies, such as big data and blockchain, and pursuing a digital tax collection system are his priorities.