Today, Standard Chartered declared its investment in a blockchain network, Contour. Initially, Contour would concentrate on digitally exchanging, creating, providing and approving Letters of Credit (LCs), following the complete commercialization of its appointment and offerings of CEO Carl Wegner. Standard Chartered has been one of the founding members, and it would continue its collaboration with Contour, which would bring Contour’s digital capabilities and expertise to deliver a frictionless and faster experience for clients reaching trade finance.
How Investment Would Benefit Contour
The platform intended to transform documentary trade by changing the previously paper-intensive ways of working. By making the end-to-end process like issuance of LCs to documentation presentation and confirmation digital, all trade participants could observe real-time updates on their transaction progress. The consequences of two live pilots with big clients in the petrochemicals industry managed by Standard Chartered in Singapore and Thailand showed greater transparency, reduced settlement risks and improved cost efficiencies across the supply chain, as well as faster access to working capital.
In the next stage of development, Contour would try to grow its ecosystem to add technology providers, banks and other established trade finance networks, so that it could emerge as a new industry standard that would digitize global trade. To that end, Standard Chartered would be adding its smart guarantee capabilities, which would digitize bank guarantees process from initiation to claim handling.
Standard Chartered Earlier Collaborations
Earlier in June 2018, Standard Chartered declared its collaboration with Siemens on smart guarantees to build an end-to-end blockchain-based smart guarantees proposition in trade finance. Next year, it declared a tie-up with SAP Ariba so that its financial supply chain solutions would be accessible to Asia Pacific-based companies through Ariba Network. Most recently, banks have invested in Linklogis, a supply chain financing platform of China, to provide access to suppliers to convenient, affordable financing and improve its joint supply chain ecosystem proposition.