DBS Bank announced today that it is the first Singaporean bank to join the Contour trade-finance blockchain network, which is built on R3’s Corda and digitalises global trade processes such as the creation, exchange, approval and issuance of letters of credit (LC).
Joining Contour’s growing ecosystem of banks and partners, aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for its corporate customers, the bank said in its statement.
DBS added that the demand for ‘contact-free’ banking amid the Covid-19 crisis makes digitalising trade processes an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for all participants during this period.
Through Contour, DBS will be able to tap on the network’s digital solutions to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process, including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents.
The bank explains that this helps shorten settlement time, reduce paperwork and simplify complex trade processes. Corporate customers can also conduct digital pre-issuance negotiation between applicant and beneficiary in real-time, and share this with DBS post-endorsement for LC Issuance.
This increases the accuracy of the LC issued and helps facilitate quicker resolution in the event of discrepancies. In addition, customers will also experience enhanced transparency with real-time tracking of transactions on the platform, along with a full audit trail.
“Our network continues to grow. With more financial institutions joining the Beta Network, we are able to showcase the full potential that a blockchain solution can offer to trade finance. Efficiency in the LC issuance process is a vital part of upgrading the industry. Through our network, we can enable banks and corporates to leverage the shared transparency in the platform and manage information digitally which is even more important than ever for the trade finance industry,” said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour.
“We’ve been employing technology and digital solutions to innovatively unlock opportunities for our corporate customers across sectors and of all scale. This is more than simply digitising an historically paper-based service; it’s about transforming the way industries work by providing greater transparency, security and speed to build sustainable trade ecosystems that are able to weather the peaks and troughs of economic cycles and are resilient in times of crisis,” John Laurens, group head of global transaction services at DBS Bank, added.