Contour, the global trade finance network has announced that HSBC has become the first full production member of the network following Contour’s commercial launch in October this year. HSBC is the first to directly benefit from the efficiency and transparency gains Contour’s network provides.
Contour’s development throughout 2020 has shown that considerable opportunities come with digitising international trade, with many successful transactions taking place during its Beta phase. Moving into 2021, Contour will be available to service corporates and banks across a wide range of regions and industries.
"A key focus for our network is to emphasise the interoperability and accessibility that Contour provides," said Carl Wegner, Contour's CEO. "Contour was developed to be used by the entire industry - from a small, yet international, corporate in a developing market to the world’s largest traders and banks. Our work with HSBC has shown the benefits this network provides and having them as a full production member highlights the value that we have been able to offer to the bank. As we round off 2020 - a year of significant challenges for trade - we hope to deliver a solution that is scalable, accessible and meets the demands of international trade today.”
HSBC has worked with Contour since before inception as a project in the R3 consortium, to its founding as an independent company, and its Beta Network in January 2020. Interoperability is a very big factor. Through its range of partners, HSBC will be able to decide which other technologies they can collaborate with on the network and further streamline their activity - whether it is through directly linking back-office systems to Contour’s network or digitising key documentation such as the bills of lading. This flexibility allows data to flow seamlessly between the Contour network and their customer’s chosen partners.
“HSBC is delighted to be Contour’s first production customer, using its commercialised blockchain trade finance platform," commented Vinay Mendonca, global head of Products and Propositions at HSBC. "As the world’s largest trade bank, we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to build smarter businesses, serve our clients better and help them increase trade. We are proud to have been on this journey, developing blockchain technology to simplify documentary trade financing, since the very beginning. HSBC became the first bank to put a commercially viable letter-of-credit on a blockchain platform back in 2018. And it’s fitting that we are the first bank to use this solution commercially.”
HSBC continues to work with Contour to digitise international trade. Using Contour’s network, the bank has been able to significantly reduced processing times for letter of credit (LC) presentations - from between 7 to 10 days to as quickly as 24 hours.
New partnership with WAVE BL
The HSBC news follows the announcement at the end of last month that Contour aims to enhance trade digitisation through a partnership with WAVE BL, a blockchain-based digital courier platform that mirrors the traditional process for transferring original paper documents electronically.
Contour says that WAVE BL's solution enables instant, encrypted and authenticated transfer of unique digital documents, streamlining an otherwise cumbersome, manual process, without compromising security. Users retain exclusive and full control over their data, account access and account identity, combining the trustworthiness of traditional paper documentation with the efficiency of a digital solution.
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