The Possibilities of Blockchain: Use Cases for B2B, B2C and Government Services

If you think the future of blockchain is only in the financial services industry, think again. The highly transactional and often multi-step nature of business process services mean that the potential applications of blockchain in business and government are seemingly endless.

Blockchain technology can be applied to any multi-step transaction where timeliness, traceability and transparency, the (3 T’s) are required. By managing the steps and relationships across an entire stream of interactions, Blockchain promises to drastically transform digitized business processes—making them more efficient, more agile, more secure, less costly and more transparent, while eliminating many intermediaries and increasing productivity.

It’s no longer a question of whether blockchain systems will disrupt how organizations transfer and ensure value with one another. The focus today is how and when. At Conduent, we’re convinced that distributed ledger and blockchain technologies can address a number of pain points for our clients.

The emergence of blockchain has also led us on a more fundamental investigation into the nature of how commercial agreements are created, modified and delivered on, and we’re looping those insights back into the use cases we’re developing for our clients.

Before diving in, a quick note about “smart contracts”—a capability that blockchain enables and Conduent is particularly excited about. Smart contracts are contracts that are programmed to be executed autonomously depending upon certain criteria. There are almost infinite possible applications for smart contracts, from automating entire facets of the supply chain to introducing new levels of security and transparency to the procurement process.

How smart contracts transform B2B supply chains

B2B industrial supply chains are ripe for innovation using blockchain-based smart contracts. In one use case that we are currently exploring for a client, smart contracts automatically and dynamically execute the company’s procure-to-pay process from end-to-end. In other words, the contract itself takes care of purchase orders; it knows the precise number of units required, at what time, and where; and it secures the best pricing from the best supplier. What’s more, it can automatically issue the purchase order and pay the supplier when the transaction is complete.

Solutions like these, which do away with multiple intermediaries—financial intermediaries, internal approvers, purchasing agents, goods-verifiers and so on—are why blockchain sometimes gets referred to as a “disintermediating technology.” The result is a much faster process with complete transparency at each stage of the transaction.

Three blockchain use cases in the B2C space

One area where many blockchain use cases are emerging in the B2C space is claims management—whether medical claims, auto insurance claims, life insurance claims or other types of claims.

Today, claims processing is a notoriously lengthy and complicated process, requiring verification from multiple intermediaries before a payment can be made to the claimant. Smart contracts promise to change that. With a smart contract, a claim form can be distributed across all participants in the chain—from the claimant to the payer. The smart contract would automatically and securely complete all the steps involved—from automating coverage verification to claims validation and, in the case of an auto insurance claim, loss determination. Suddenly, the process is quicker, more secure and less costly.

Similar dynamics are at work in loan and mortgage processing today—it’s a complex process with multiple stakeholders, inherent inefficiencies and frequent manual errors and delays. The process could be significantly simplified by incorporating smart contracts. For instance, smart contracts could automatically verify land ownership and interface with various stakeholders such as legal and tax departments. By eliminating silos, a blockchain based solution would remove inefficiencies, reduce time and cost, and support better customer experiences.

One final B2C use case for blockchain: parking solutions. By combining smart contracts with advanced sensors—sensors capable of detecting cars and automatically reading their license plates—it becomes possible to automatically deduct parking charges from citizens using either digital parking wallets or credit cards linked to their identity. The implications, and potential upshots, of such a model for parking payments are huge: 100% compliance, payment accuracy, no manual patrolling, automatic computation of occupancy ratios, and more. Analytics similar to those used today by Conduent Parking Systems could then be applied to this continuous data to predict occupancy percentage and automatically adjust parking costs based on demand.

Blockchain’s impact on the public sector

Lastly, we are looking at the power of blockchain to transform processes in the public sector. Sharing critical data across government agencies—from law enforcement agencies to transit agencies, municipal corporations, and on—remains one of the greatest challenges facing the public sector today. However, a blockchain network could be the answer, with smart contracts to facilitate data sharing in a permissioned, distributed and secure manner across organizations.

What are some possible applications? To give just one example, imagine a crime is committed across several states, and it therefore falls under different jurisdictions. In that case, easy and secure access to selective data—plus the ability to share it—becomes critical. Data availability across agencies could be achieved with a blockchain solution, while also expediting and increasing the effectiveness of the overall process.

Of course, the handful of use cases discussed above is by no means comprehensive. To be sure, blockchain is the next technology with paradigm-shifting potential. But those organizations that mobilize early—and select the right partners in their ecosystem—will be in the best position to test out prototypes and ultimately reap the benefits of innovation.

Conduent Labs

Conduent Labs, located in the United States and India, focus on leveraging technology advancements in areas such as computer vision, data and predictive analytics, process analytics and optimization, as well as machine and deep learning. We also have established practices in automation, mobility, and analytics and hold over 300 patents, with another 400 patents pending. Conduent has also established a blockchain practice.

 

13 thoughts on “The Possibilities of Blockchain: Use Cases for B2B, B2C and Government Services

  1. Curt Matthews December 14, 2017 - Reply

    How best for individuals to invest in blockchain (what company is likely
    to emerge as the “Microsoft” of the blockchain industry?)

  2. Joe Deegan December 19, 2017 - Reply

    Please keep me posted.

  3. Divyesh Sah December 20, 2017 - Reply

    Great Article on applications of Blockchain, its time people start realizing the technology benefits of the platform for business applications keeping in mid the challenges that come with it for an enterprise class implementation and how to overcome them.

  4. bob woody December 25, 2017 - Reply

    Investment opportunities?

  5. RoughAcres/RL McKee December 26, 2017 - Reply

    Fascinating.
    ID security seems a good market.

  6. shubhra malik January 3, 2018 - Reply

    Thanks Armon, Really a nice information
    I do work for Conduent too but I never knew we are working on blockchains as well.
    I am very much interested in this technology. it will be good to know the details.

  7. Siri Gruessing January 6, 2018 - Reply

    I am very thankful of the role conduent plays in getting medical payments. I am very curious about how to get the number I need in order to get paid?

  8. Ramakrishna Duriseti January 9, 2018 - Reply

    Very well articulated use cases. It appears, the success of any implementation of blockchain will happen only after universal adoption of the players in the chain/ say part of the smart contract.

    • Looking at AI and Blockchain, IOT

      As a core competencie for clients

      Where do I begin, and do you know of any consultants that can help build a practice?

  9. norman eisenberg January 30, 2018 - Reply

    I am the author of a Patient Management System EMR and was wondering how i might be able to adapt Block Chain to my use. Presently i use a specially designed waterproof USB to hold the data in a program that i wrote and also use NFC on a credit card size EMR . Would i be able to adapt the information needed to Block Chain usage? if so Please explain how or tell me where to go to find out. Thank you Respectfully: Norman Eisenberg PA

  10. Deepayan Thakur March 12, 2018 - Reply

    Nicely articulated use cases.
    I am from Conduent and started exploring blockchain recently. Are we implementing these use cases in real time, looking forward to know more about these.

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