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Singapore: Singapore’s central bank is working with the city’s banks and the R3 group of global financial institutions to develop a system for interbank payments underpinned by blockchain technology.

The trial project is also exploring cross-border transactions, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in a speech Wednesday. The city’s stock exchange, its largest bank DBS Group Holdings Ltd., its two local rivals, and global firms including HSBC Holdings Plc and Bank of America Corp. are involved in the overall program, according to a slide presentation for the speech.

Singapore will also create a national “know-your-customer" platform that will help banks avoid redundancy in customer data collection and reduce compliance costs, Menon said. The “basic building block" of that system will be the government’s MyInfo service, which collects personal details of Singaporean residents, he said during an event at the Singapore Fintech Festival.

ALSO READ: Here’s what Asian lenders are doing with blockchain technology

The week-long festival, organized by the MAS, is part of Singapore’s broader effort to position itself as a financial technology center, as it competes with other global hubs like London, Hong Kong and New York to attract business from established financial firms to start-up ventures.

The fintech festival had lured more than 11,000 participants from over 50 countries, Menon said. Speakers during the week include blockchain cheerleader Blythe Masters, the chief executive officer of Digital Asset Holdings who once ran JPMorgan & Chase Co.’s commodities business, and Peter Sands, former CEO of Standard Chartered Plc. Bloomberg

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