Payments for housing and utility services will be calculated through blockchain.
Russian Alfa-Bank, together with Kvartplata 24, launched calculations for payments for housing and communal services through Corda blockchain platform. This solution is designed to ensure maximum simplicity and transparency of the work of all participants in the utilities market. Users will trust the bills more and be more willing to pay them, reducing their debts. Any bank operating in the Russian Federation has the opportunity to go to blockchain service in its chosen role – as a payee or a settlement operator.
In just a few seconds, the site distributes automatically processed payments to the final recipients of the financial institution. All participants in the system online receive information about which the payer, in which period and for which services transferred funds. Thus, there are more tools to work out the residents’ debts. The social security authorities, using the same platform, will be able to more accurately and timely calculate and transfer subsidies.
In total, the service was developed in six months – from the appearance of the idea itself to the implementation of the first financial operation in favor of the private energy company of the city of Samara. The developers are convinced that the main advantages of their development are the elementary interface, minimum costs and convenience. The service is based on R3 Corda blockchain platform, which is open source. In addition, market participants should not introduce any special software; however, it will take a little to modify existing systems to work correctly with the decentralized registry. Alfa-Bank did not calculate how much it would cost for all parties.
How do payments for housing and utility services work in blockchain?
To begin with, the consumer of housing and utilities services must pay the bill for the ENP. The collector in blocks notes the presence of payment. After that, the “Quarter-Payment 24” platform sees the payment in blockchain and sends it to “splitting” by the final recipients. Relevant information is also added to blockchain. Further, the payment collector transfers the residents’ money to the bank account, fixing it in the distributed registry, and the financial institution sends a notification of receipt of the money, marking all in same blockchain.
Rent 24 receives information about the funds transferred and spreads the amount to the final recipients (operators who supply resources), making the appropriate notes. The bank performs direct transactions to final recipients of payments. Thus, each action is accompanied by a record in blockchain and is visible to all market participants, but for each of them you can configure your own access rights.
Corda platform was developed in the fall of 2017 by banks that are part of R3 consortium. It has several differences from usual blockchain systems. Due to the flexible architecture, it makes numerous international payments possible, and the recipient and the sender themselves confirm and see the transaction. There is no central hub in Corda, the participants themselves create observer nodes and control nodes.
It is noteworthy that since the spring of 2018, the owners of residential premises can directly enter into service contracts with resource-supplying companies, and the supplier itself can start direct settlements if the management company delays transfers. As a result, payers may have more headaches with paying dozens of small services for different receipts and bills. The service from Alfa-Bank should solve at least part of this problem.