22 additional global banks have joined SWIFT’s blockchain proof of concept (PoC), designed to validate whether the technology can help banks reconcile their international nostro accounts in real time. A nostro account is an account that a bank holds in a foreign currency in another bank. These banks will test and validate the PoC’s blockchain application, currently under development by SWIFT and a group of six founding banks that launched the PoC in April 2017. Working independently of the founding banks, the 22 institutions will act as a validation group to further test the application and evaluate how the technology scales and performs.
As of July 1, 2017, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) is using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”) to manage license applications and conduct ongoing regulation of nondepository financial institutions, including money transmitters, doing business in New York. The NMLS website is available here.
The decision by DFS should bring some additional ease to an otherwise cumbersome state-by-state money transmitter licensing regime. Applicants applying for a license in the NMLS system need only fill out a single set of applications for all states that participate (although, of course, individual state licensing requirements still differ). Money transmitters already licensed in New York will be able to transition their licenses to the NMLS system. In a June 29, 2017 press release, available here, DFS stated it had sent letters to each licensee providing detailed instructions on how to accomplish the transition.
DFS has lauded the move to NMLS as bringing efficiency to its regulatory oversight responsibilities, including enhanced consumer protection. According to a May 11, 2017 DFS press release, the move to NMLS will “allow DFS to provide better supervision of the money transmitter industry by linking with other states to protect consumers.”