Nordea joins blockchain-based trade finance platform

sointu ville

Nordea has joined the consortium as founding partner. The consortium is working with IBM to develop a platform based on distributed ledger technology to make domestic and cross-border commerce easier, safer and more efficient for companies.

It is the first such blockchain-based trade finance platform, marking a milestone in the practical adoption of distributed ledger technology in the financial industry.

Nordea joins the consortium’s other founders, Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Société Générale and UniCredit, to extend its geographical coverage into the Nordic markets.

The platform enables secure international trade between SMEs, connecting the parties involved in a trade transaction, covering the buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, seller’s bank and transporter.

The platform will be accessible 24-hours a day from any connected device.

Ville Sointu, head of DLT & blockchain at Nordea, said: “In the current broad landscape of blockchain technology based initiatives in trade finance, we see as a standout in its focus and realistic execution strategy. We’re looking forward to providing a Nordic perspective to the future of trade finance.”

Nordea plans to roll out the platform to its customers across the Nordics and is the first bank in the region to deliver a customer-facing trade solution based on the technology.

Patrik Zekkar, head of trade and working capital management sales at Nordea, said: “It promises to simplify trade finance processes for SMEs by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions.

“With, SME customers will secure and accelerate the order-to-settlement process, as it is quicker than the traditional exchange of documents, and with the required traceability. The platform’s end-to-end transparency will give SMEs confidence to initiate trade with new partners in their home market or internationally.”

The launch of the platform will take place in Q2 2018 following testing with the bank’s customers.

The consortium is an open bank platform available for other banks to join in order to create standardisation, collaboration and consensus across banks to support trade.