Canada’s ATB Financial successfully leads practical, customer-centric blockchain innovation with Germany’s ReiseBank and Ripple

  • Chami Akmeemana
Photo of a red ball in a row of black balls in a dimly lit space.


In a story not only of Canadian fintech innovation, but also of 21st century customer-centricity, Edmonton-based ATB financial embarked on a journey a year ago to make sense of blockchain technology.

I was honoured to witness the transfer of $1,000 between Canada and Germany and here is how it all began.

As the 9th largest financial institution in Canada by assets, ATB is agile enough and has the critical mass to be able to meaningfully adopt and adapt to new technologies. Coupled with its culture of innovation, it sought to leverage its SAP digital core banking platform by integrating with startups and by testing new solutions. Dave Mowat, ATB CEO, says that moving money is an essential part of how they add value for their customers. ATB saw blockchain as a key way forward to innovating in this respect.

ReiseBank, a 100% subsidiary of DZ Bank, has a cash based business model. In a world where digitization is a growing, a niche bank like ReiseBank has to respond to this challenge. ReiseBank thus defines itself as a converter between the offline and the online world where “offline” means cash and “online” is a synonym for any digital money.