Russian Alfa-Bank offers blockchain platform for freelancers

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Alfa-Bank, one of the largest private commercial banks in Russia, is exploring blockchain technology in its services to freelancers.

According to an announcement made on December 1, Alfa-Bank will use blockchain-based applications to automate services for freelancers and self-employed. Based on the Waves Enterprise blockchain platform, the new service from Alfa-Bank covers the entire registration and reimbursement process for self-employed persons, including payment processing, income registration and tax payments.

Denis Dodon, Director of Alfa-Bank’s Research and Development Center, told Cointelegraph that the new blockchain-based service will allow freelancers to receive direct compensation through any bank:

“DLT and embedded smart contracts with end-to-end integration into the core accounting and clearing system of banking enable the automatic creation of payment instructions […] with direct transmission of payment instructions via DLT to the cards and bank accounts of self-employed people in every bank. “

The new service comprises two applications, including the company-oriented platform “Alfa.Corporate” and “My Income” for individuals. According to Igor Kuzmichev, Chief Commercial Officer at Waves Enterprise, Waves Enterprise’s blockchain technology provides secure data exchange between the bank and a company, as well as transparent and immutable data storage.

Kuzmichev noted that Waves Enterprise acts as the primary tool for the bank’s so-called “Bank-as-a-Service” approach:

“Thanks to the core blockchain functions – data transparency and immutability – new banking services can now be developed on the customer side, but not in the core environment of the banking system. This approach significantly speeds time to market and brings new developers into the fintech ecosystem. “

Kuzmichev said the new service’s target audience includes self-employed workers such as taxi drivers, cleaning and repair services, tutors, and others.

Alfa-Bank has become one of the most blockchain-friendly banks in Russia. In early November 2020, Alfa-Bank became the first Russian bank to join Contour, a DLT platform that connects the world’s financial giants like HSBC, ING and Citi.