On September 6, 2017, Microsoft and Israel-based Bank Hapoalim announced a partnership to provide digital banking guarantees via a blockchain platform.
Bank guarantees ensure that a debtor's liabilities will be covered by the issuing bank. According to the announcement, many of Bank Hapoalim's customers that require bank guarantees must physically travel to a branch for management. Blockchain technology will simplify the process of signing up guarantors and Microsoft will test the efficacy of the system using its Azure cloud services to develop a new tool.
Shelly Landsmann, CEO of Microsoft Israel, spoke of the groundbreaking move by the tech giant and Israeli bank:
“This is the first collaboration of its kind in Israel in the banking sector that will enable a digital revolution, access to advanced services and the combination of technology and business needs. Microsoft is currently supporting a large number of Blockchain technologies that enable the deployment of different types of networks, depending on the system and the business needs, on the Azure cloud platform.”
As reported by the Times of Israel, Bank Hapoalim is also working with the Bank of Israel and other entities in an effort to modernize regulatory requirements which will allow for the integration of new technologies.
“The new process will enable Bank Hapoalim customers to receive security documents in a digital, automated and secure manner, without physically coming to the branch and in a very short process," said Bank Hapoalim's CEO Arik Pinto as he described the impact of bringing together banking and blockchain platforms. “The use of Blockchain technology will significantly improve the customer experience and the level of trust in the banking system.”