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U.S. clearing house Nacha announces blockchain-based payments platform ‘Phixius’

Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 07:38 am UTC

U.S. clearing house Nacha announced last week that it is developing a blockchain-based platform to modernize and streamline payments process.

The current use of bilateral agreements is not only inefficient but also restricts broader participation. In addition, the existing processing infrastructure is largely manual, leading to administrative errors, misdirected payments and opportunities for fraud.

Nacha is developing ‘Phixius’ to overcome these challenges. The platform integrates blockchain technology, rules and participants to automate the process of exchanging payment-related information across all payment types.

The objective is to enable companies to exchange payment-related information regarding products and services to improve fraud protection, automate manual processes and improve customer experiences. Nacha has selected Ernst & Young LLP (EY) to help develop Phixius.

“This industry platform is designed to address many pain points in the adoption of electronic payments,” said Jennifer Lucas, Managing Director, Ernst & Young LLP and the EY Americas FSO Advisory Payments Lead.

According to a press release, Phixius will leverage blockchain technology, Afinis interoperable and standardized APIs, and ISO 20022 to provide the necessary features and functionality to safely and securely facilitate payment information exchange among all participants.

“Traditionally, the exchange of payment-related information has consisted of multiple bilateral agreements. Unfortunately, that limits broader industry adoption and fails to address today’s interoperability expectations. Phixius changes all of that,” said George Throckmorton, Nacha Managing Director and Executive Director of Afinis Interoperability Standards.

“Phixius eliminates the need for multiple data exchange agreements by leveraging blockchain technology, standardization and rules that govern network participants.”

Nacha said that the platform can be used to reduce the cost of producing and sending checks and standardize information sharing. It aims to make Phixius available to early adopter organizations in May this year.

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