ANZ Banking Group is currently working with regulators in China, Hong Kong and Singapore to digitalize trade finance using blockchain technology, in a move that is expected to accelerate bank lending decisions while helping regulators monitor international capital flows more closely.
The bank is one of seven to create the eTradeConnect platform that enables both importers and exporters to make purchase orders and invoices, sending relevant information directly to banks and making financing decisions more efficient.
According to Vivek Gupta, ANZ head of trade and supply chains for North Asia and greater China, the platform was the first blockchain-based commercialized trade ecosystem. It uses Hyperledger technology developed by Chinese insurance giant Ping-An.
Gupta noted that two key regional regulators, namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have demonstrated progressive views on digitalizing paper-based processes, recognizing how this can improve the way businesses in the region access capital.
The other six founding banks — HSBC, Bank of China, Standard Chartered, DBS of Singapore, Bank of East Asia, and Hang Seng Bank — are currently making preparations to admit major logistics, shipping, and insurance companies to the blockchain network, which would reduce the average time needed to make financing decisions.
Additionally, ANZ is working on a proof-of-concept with the People’s Bank of China – China’s central bank – as part of plans to connect Chinese and Hong Kong trading markets.
The eTradeConnect platform also has plans to link its blockchain to the we.trade platform already utilized by many top European banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank, Societe Generale, and Santander.
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