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Industry roundup: 24 May

Commerzbank, Evonik and BASF test blockchain to manage corporate supply chain processes 

In a joint project, Commerzbank, Evonik and BASF successfully tested a shared blockchain platform to efficiently handle bilateral supply chain processes between companies in a live environment. During the test, payments between Evonik and BASF were checked, paid and booked in a fully automated and digital manner by means of a programmed payment process. 

Evonik’s mutual supplier relationship with BASF forms the basis for the project; the companies have maintained an active business relationship for many years and they regularly settle trade receivables. In the pilot project, the two companies transmitted business process-relevant data to Commerzbank’s blockchain platform with the help of the data service provider Elemica. The platform then generated a complete and tamper-proof depiction of the relevant business processes as well as the data and then blockchain was used to automate payments. For this purpose, electronic money (e-money) was made available to the partners for trading on the distributed ledger technology platform. Payments were processed once the transaction was automatically validated by digital contracts (smart contracts) and through programmable money, i.e. cash on ledger.

“Programmable money has enormous potential to further digitalise supply chains, said Carsten Bittner, Divisional Board Member responsible for Technology Foundations at Commerzbank."

The project participants are pleased with the successful completion of the pilot. Heinz-Günter Lux, Senior Digital Strategist at Evonik Digital GmbH commented: "The payment process via blockchain and by means of programmable money along our existing process chains is definitely more transparent, quicker and more reliable. It is an important building block towards the development of fully autonomous supply chains."

BASF is already using blockchain technology in pilot projects for the secure exchange of data and information between multiple participants in complex value chains. As well as other things, blockchain technology will also enable BASF to collaborate more effectively with its customers and suppliers in future. With the conclusion of the pilot, the project partners have agreed to further explore the use of this innovative payment method and expand it to include other supply chain business partners in the coming months.


Contour adds Japan's SMBC to digital trade network

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has joined Contour’s global network of banks, corporates and ecosystem partners. Having been a member of Contour’s beta network since last year, transitioning to the full production network means that SMBC will be able to provide its customers with a fully digital end-to-end letter of credit (LC) settlement process.

"The transition of a major bank like SMBC from a beta member to a full production member marks an important milestone as it’s the first bank in Japan to make this shift," said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour. "We are delighted to see a growing number of banks across the world align with our vision that international trade needs to eradicate paper-based processes. Not only are they extremely outdated but they now pose a significant security risk. A digital solution is no longer a competitive advantage - it is the future industry standard."

"At SMBC, we see joining Contour as one of the transformative steps to serve our customers in the new digital economy," commented Shinichiro Yamazaki, global head of Trade Innovation and Region Head of Trade Finance APAC at SMBC. "Contour can provide an efficient and secure digital channel to replace the paper intensive LC flow currently used. This need is heightened by the challenges arising from the COVID pandemic. We are excited to partner with Contour to deliver this innovative solution not only to our customers but also to our banking partners to improve and strengthen the trade finance industry as a whole."


TAKKT selects Kyriba’s liquidity and payment platform

Kyriba has announced that TAKKT AG, a B2B distance seller for business equipment in Europe and North America, has selected Kyriba for its liquidity and payment platform.

TAKKT is using the Kyriba’s Active Payments platform and improving its cash visibility through Kyriba’s Active Treasury. The whole integration is designed to help TAKKT to increase its team’s productivity and lower exposure to fraud.

"We chose Kyriba for its ability to provide a platform integrated to our ERP system, which includes ready to use bank formats, automated tasks and reports to increase our visibility on cash and best-of-breed security standards." said Viola Moesslang, senior manager Treasury at TAKKT AG.

"We are very pleased to welcome TAKKT’s finance and treasury team to the Kyriba ecosystem," added Andreas Karthaus, managing director DACH region at Kyriba. "We look forward to helping them meet their objectives."

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