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Contour partners with essDOCS on trade finance

The global blockchain supply chain finance market size is expected to gain market growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.2% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2025, reaching US$34.24bn by 2025 according to Orion Research. 

One of the new breed of providers serving this space, Contour, has announced its partnership with essDOCS, an enabler of paperless trade. The news follows the initial collaboration between the Singapore-based open trade finance network and essDOCS, powering a recent paperless trade transaction between Rio Tinto and Baosteel. 

Following this transaction, the two companies completed a full integration between Contour and essDOCS’ CargoDocs solution in order to enhance their joint offering for future customer transactions. As all industries are now aiming to reduce their over reliance on paper to address environmental, efficiency and safety concerns, the integration between the two solutions looks to further facilitate this goal for the trade finance sector. 

Contour’s non-partisan network, powered by R3’s Corda blockchain technology, allows all banks, financial institutions, and corporates to improve access, communication, and transparency when conducting trade finance agreements. essDOCS’ CargoDocs platform fully digitises the creation, approval and exchange of original electronic documents including bills of lading, warehouse warrants and more, cutting trade document turnaround times and accelerating transaction speed for all parties involved.

The Contour-CargoDocs integration allows for complete access to original electronic documentation and data relevant to a given trade finance transaction (such as under a letter of credit) - consolidated within the Contour application - providing a holistic solution and eliminating data siloes. The full integration also means that all key CargoDocs capabilities, such as electronic bill of lading drafting, approval, signing, issuance, transfer, presentation, supporting document upload plus optional convert to paper, are now fully integrated with the Contour application. This is designed to enhance the user experience and provide key functionality for end-to-end paperless trade through one solution.

"Our continued growth aims to encourage all businesses to collaborate, and with essDOCS joining the Contour network, we’re furthering our goal to digitise the trade finance industry," said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour. "With environmental concerns around the overuse of paper in the sector, as well as the need to conduct business in a safe, yet practical manner, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this collaboration will allow us to provide electronic documents on our network, digitise the sector and improve the way trade finance is conducted.”

“Digitisation is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather a critical capability that streamlines trade and protects stakeholders," commented Alexander Goulandris, co-CEO at essDOCS. "Cross-platform collaboration allows supply chain data to flow seamlessly, and is vital to enabling corporates and banks to benefit from more complete paperless trade solutions. Through this partnership, our mutual customers can access the full capabilities of Contour and CargoDocs from a single user interface.”

Gaining momentum

The essDOCS news is the second partnership that Contour has announced this month as the trade finance network gains momentum. Previously it had announced a partnership with IntellectEU, which will function as an integrator of Contour’s blockchain platform, automating back-office flows for both financial institutions and corporates.

IntellectEU’s Catalyst Integration Solution (CAT-IS) allows financial institutions to securely exchange information in different data formats, linking their existing infrastructures together. As trade finance counterparties often utilise incompatible methods of processing data, IntellectEU’s offering allows for interoperability, bridging this communications gap. With this partnership, IntellectEU’s integration services will provide even greater efficiencies to the back-office systems of banks and corporates. IntellectEU’s clients will also enjoy streamlined communication and collaboration opportunities, without the disruption of overhauling their own operating and information systems.

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