HSBC pilots blockchain-based digital payments platform to revolutionize real estate transactions

Digital Reinvention
30/09/2023 News

HSBC Singapore has achieved a significant milestone by successfully piloting the first-ever blockchain-based digital payments platform aimed at streamlining and automating payments in the real estate industry. This groundbreaking initiative represents a collaborative effort between HSBC and the real estate sector, ushering in a new era of efficiency, transparency, and risk mitigation in property development transactions.

The problem in real estate transactions

Property development is a complex ecosystem involving numerous stakeholders, including property developers, suppliers, and vendors. The traditional workflow is fraught with challenges related to invoice submission, contract management, and claims processing. These difficulties often lead to delays in payments and increased risks for all parties involved due to a lack of visibility, non-standard processes, and disparate systems.

The HSBC blockchain solution

HSBC's innovative blockchain-based workflow and payment solution offer a transformative way for real estate businesses to digitize their workflow tracking processes and automate payment releases. This technology promises to enhance operational efficiency, governance, and transparency while significantly reducing the overall project turnaround time.

Lewis Sun, Global Head of Domestic and Emerging Payments at HSBC, explains that this milestone project leverages their proprietary Blockchain Payment Tool to facilitate faster and more automated payments through off-chain banking rails, effectively mitigating risks associated with financial transactions on-chain.

Louis Leung, Director of Property Enterprises Development (S) Pte Ltd, a member of CK Asset Group, acknowledges the platform's significance in strengthening relationships, increasing efficiency, and mitigating risks within the real estate ecosystem. He sees it as a pivotal step towards harnessing technology for these purposes.

Key features of the HSBC blockchain-based platform

• Enhanced Security: The platform leverages HSBC's patented blockchain technology to provide a secure environment for ecosystem participants. This ensures that sensitive information remains protected throughout the transaction process.

• Real-Time Updates: Participants can access real-time updates, improving their ability to monitor and manage transactions effectively.

• Automation: Routine tasks can be automated, reducing the need for manual intervention and minimizing the risk of errors.

• Smart Contracts: The platform supports conditional payments through smart contracts, enabling transactions to be processed digitally with increased efficiency and accuracy.

Aligning with Singapore's vision

This pioneering initiative aligns with Singapore's Built Environment Industry Transformation Map, which aims to revolutionize the real estate construction sector by integrating digital technologies throughout a building's lifecycle, from planning and design to construction, operations, and maintenance.

Winnie Yap, Head of Global Payments Solutions at HSBC Singapore, points out that this pilot coincides with Singapore's move away from paper checks as a payment instrument. She believes that programmability in payments will not only benefit the real estate industry but also other complex infrastructure developments.

Future plans

Following the successful pilot transaction, HSBC Singapore plans to scale up and commercialize the blockchain-based solution. They also intend to explore new use cases and share best practices with other markets, marking a significant step toward creating a more competitive and digitally-driven future for the real estate industry.


HSBC's pilot blockchain-based digital payments platform represents a major advancement in the real estate sector, addressing long-standing challenges and ushering in a new era of efficiency, transparency, and risk mitigation. As this technology continues to evolve and expand, it has the potential to reshape how real estate transactions are conducted, setting a new standard for the industry worldwide.

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