Trade finance solution Contour launches open platform on Corda blockchain
Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered in partnership with Bain, CryptoBLK and R3 launch open industry platform, corporate customer pilot programme and technology partner programme on the Corda Network
23 October 2018 (Sydney/New York) The Contour initiative has launched the open platform for documentary trade, targeting production on R3’s Corda Enterprise blockchain platform in 2019. Founding members of Contour include Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered. Contour’s initial aim is to use blockchain technology to bring significant efficiencies to transacting letters of credit.
Collaboration with corporate customers has been critical in shaping the initiative, with a successful live transaction with Cargill in May 2018 demonstrating the viability of the platform. Contour is continuing to extend its corporate customer programme to undertake more live transactions and is in active discussions with a number of corporates.
Corporate customers will be able to connect with their banks and trading partners via a single, simplified channel, for both issuance of letters of credit and presentation/exchange of documents across an open network. In addition, trade documents produced on external networks by a corporate’s supply chain partners can be digitally sent, verified and processed in Contour. This new model provides legal enforceability of title documents and greater digitisation across business networks on Corda, addressing the challenge of today’s digital islands bridged by paper-based processes. The Bolero network and electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) functionality is included at launch. The essDocs network and eBL solution will start the initial design and integration with the Contour solution, with others to be added on a rolling basis.
Contour will enable banks to speed up financing decisions and enhance the customer experience. The banks’ corporate clients can reduce internal operational procedures through less reconciliation with their trading partners and banks. To help lower barriers of adoption and create an open ecosystem, a unique partner programme is available to enable trade finance platform providers to offer a Letters of Credit solution on the Contour business network. Contour is working with four of the leading trade finance platform vendors to design and build a solution that will offer a Contour-enabled service to their existing bank and corporate customers.
Contour extends an open invitation to all banks and corporates to apply to join the network.
David E. Rutter, CEO, R3 comments: “Today’s trade finance solutions were built in siloes, adding significant risk, operational inefficiencies and costs into the process. Previous trades conducted on Contour have demonstrated banks can offer a commercially and operationally viable blockchain solution with significant customer benefit.
“It is critical for banks and corporates to have the option to work with the technology partner of their choice, as this lowers barriers to adoption and helps drive widespread deployment of Contour via our partners. In addition, our focus on industry collaboration and open networks uniquely positions Contour to scale by leveraging the Corda Network to ensure interoperability with other global trade initiatives and other networks including supply chain, cash, insurance and identity.”
For more information on the Contour technology partner programme or the corporate customer pilot programme, please contact email@example.com
R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem of more than 200 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.
R3’s global team of over 180 professionals in 13 countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base.
The Corda platform is already being used in industries from financial services to healthcare, shipping, insurance and more. It records, manages and executes institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce. www.r3.com
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