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Standard Chartered Singapore completes blockchain-based trade finance deal

Photo via efinancial careers

Thu, 24 Jan 2019, 11:32 am UTC

The Singaporean unit of multinational banking and financial services giant Standard Chartered has completed its first blockchain-based cross-border trade finance transaction, Business Times reported.

In an announcement, the bank said that it leveraged a blockchain platform developed by Distributed Ledger Technologies for an agri-business supply chain deal. Using the platform, it was able to complete the deal in one day, instead of the usual five to seven days, it said.

The project involved digitally generating trade documents for Agrocorp International, a Singaporean agri-commodities trader, for a shipment of chickpeas from Australia to the customer, BSM Global, in Bangladesh. The platform allowed sharing information along the supply chain network, right from the origin of the commodities.

StanChart said that the technology helps to streamline the process, while ensuring security and transparency for participants.

The use of blockchain-based platforms "enables the bank to support our clients' entire supply chain and provide seamless trade financing within a day,” said Ujjwal Jain, head of trade for the Singapore transaction banking business, adding "This helps free up cash flow and working capital, which our clients and their supply chain can reinvest into their business," he added.

"The transparency of the whole process also helps build trust and loyalty across the supply chain to promote more cost-efficient products and services. This is a win-win for all parties."

The bank plans to expand the blockchain solution to more clients both locally as well as on a global level.

Standard Chartered has been actively involved in the blockchain space for quite some time. It completed its first real-time cross-border payment using Ripple’s technology in 2016. It also made a strategic investment in Ripple in the same year.

Last August, the bank collaborated with Siemens Financial Services and blockchain trade finance platform TradeIX to create an end-to-end smart guarantees proposition in trade finance based on blockchain technology. It is also involved in an initiative, called “Voltron,” which aims to leverage blockchain technology in trade finance.

More recently, Standard Charted launched a blockchain platform for small syndicated loans Itaú Unibanco Holding SA.

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