eTradeConnect has announced two proof-of-concepts aimed at enhancing the connectivity of its trade finance platform. Both initiatives aim to explore ways to transform the traditional heavily manual and paper-based trade finance process towards a digital era where customers can easily exchange their trade, financing and shipping information through a secure, streamlined and digitised trade finance process.
Linking banks to a global shipping network
eTradeConnect has entered into discussion with CargoSmart and shipping industry participants that are proposing to form a Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) on how the banking and shipping industries can work together to create value to their mutual customers.
A proof-of-concept has been designed to validate the benefits of enhanced transparency, traceability and efficiency to the banks and their trade finance customers if ocean carriers and terminals can share shipping information (such as the bill of lading) on a real-time basis. It will also evaluate how a paperless trade finance process can reduce financing risk on the one hand and promote product innovation and efficiency gain on the other.
eTradeConnect and CargoSmart, facilitated by PwC as project manager, have successfully completed the proof-of-concept with banks, including Bank of China (Hong Kong), The Bank of East Asia, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), and ocean carriers, including COSCO Shipping Lines, OOCL. The proof-of-concept verified the feasibility of data exchange from the financing and shipping cycles on 'need-to-know' basis. The aim is to identify potential implications from the customer experience, operation and technology perspectives.
Integrating with corporate procurement systems
eTradeConnect has conducted another proof-of-concept to integrate with customer procurement systems. The 'ERP.Connect', a digital asset designed by PwC as a proof-of-concept enables seamless connection among platforms for submission of necessary digital information and documents on corporate procurement, order management, treasury to facilitate trade financing.
eTradeConnect and PwC have been working together over the past months to explore and validate the integration between the eTradeConnect platform and ERP.Connect. Participating banks of the eTradeConnect, including DBS Bank (Hong Kong), HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), shared ideas on how the user experience can be enhanced into a 'digital end-to-end vision'.
ERP.Connect would allow corporate treasurers to access immediate financing options through their existing ERP systems. As a result, better visibility on their financial positions and abilities to manage working capitals could be achieved.
With these two collaborations, eTradeConnect says it aims to create a digital ecosystem to strengthen linkages among members in the global trading system, stimulate economic cooperation and promote Hong Kong as a major regional trading hub.
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