SETL, a London-based fintech company, Deloitte, and Metro Bank have developed a contactless card that allows retail payments to be processed and settled using blockchain technology.

Blockchain works as a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system. It records any given set of data that is automatically replicated for all parties in a secure network, eliminating the need for third-party verification and enables payments to be settled in seconds.

The card, based on the Deloitte’s blockchain ID system known as Smart Identity and SETL’s payment blockchain, has been developed for the customers of the UK-based Metro Bank.

An initial test with more than 100 users, who carried out the purchase using contactless smartcards, has been successfully completed.

SETL said that the test-users used their cards to pay for cupcakes in sterling, with both customers' and merchants' balances were updated live-time with all balances held at Metro Bank.

The service, which is provided by SETL Payments, is expected to go into commercial production as early as 2017, subject to appropriate regulatory approval.

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David Myers, Partner at Deloitte said: “To use the Deloitte Identity solution in this way is particularly relevant as it underlines the importance, in the new distributed ledger world of identity management.

“We are pleased that SETL together with Metro Bank have been able to demonstrate both speed, capacity and identity in the challenging retail payments arena.”

Metro Bank CEO Craig Donaldson said: “Given all the potential that blockchain has to offer, we hope that the success of today’s test will play a key role in moving us a step closer to providing a more efficient and flexible service for customers.”