|05 June, 2018

Infosys Finacle pioneers blockchain-based trade network in India

The network operates in consortium with seven leading banks

Data cables sit in a bundle at a cryptocurrency mining facility. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Data cables sit in a bundle at a cryptocurrency mining facility. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys, announced the successful formation of India Trade Connect, a blockchain-based trade network in India. The network operates in partnership with Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank, South Indian Bank and Yes Bank.

“Axis Bank believes in enhancing its customer experience by continuously innovating and leveraging new technologies. While there have been significant innovations in payments, Trade Finance is now starting to pick up. We are excited about the potential of India Trade Connect initiative to digitize end-to-end trade finance operations and bring about a speedy, transparent and secure experience for our corporate clients,” said Anil Agarwal, EVP & Head–Transaction Banking, Axis Bank.

The network is being used by the banks to run a successful pilot of Finacle Trade Connect, a blockchain technology-based solution developed specifically to address the trade finance process requirements of banks. Finacle Trade Connect will enable increased automation and transparency, while helping efficiently manage risks in trade and supply chain financing operations. India Trade Connect has also been adjudged as the winner of the prestigious Celent Model Bank 2018 award for Trade Finance and Supply Chain, affirming the potential of this network.

Ramesh Ganesan, Senior Executive Vice President, Transaction Banking, IndusInd Bank, said that the platform will help the bank take a quantum leap in digitisation and also improve the processing efficiency of trade transactions.

Key features of the network include: digitising trade finance business processes, including validation of ownership, certification of documents and making payments, while working on a distributed, trusted and shared network; the range of functions include Bill Collection, Letters of Credit, Open Account for Trade, Customer to Customer, Transactions for Trade, Business to Customer transactions for Trade, PO financing and Invoice financing; creation of new business opportunities for participating banks, while eliminating the inefficiencies in the existing trade processes and enabling everyone involved in a transaction to have a single source of the truth; financing decisions are more informed since the banks involved in a transaction are aware of the exact position of a bill as well as the exposure of the corporate with its respective partner bank; instant transfer of messages and documents between the parties involved in a completely secure manner reducing lifecycle turnaround time; reduction of cost through digitisation of information exchange. Additionally, per transaction cost associated with intermediary messaging systems is eliminated; and the network is agnostic to underlying blockchain infrastructure such as Hyperledger, Corda, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, thereby future-proofing the network against technology evolution risks.

“Blockchain will unleash the true potential of Trade Finance. It will help provide our clients with hassle free and profitable Trade Finance solutions on almost real-time basis. Trade network transactions will be secure, transparent, resistant to outages, auditable and efficient as never before,” said Shekhar Bhandari, Business Head- Global Transaction Services & Precious Metals, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited. 

Varun Bakshi, Head –Trade Products, RBL Bank added that a wide range of industries in India, including banking and financial services, are customising blockchain technology for multiple business uses and to make processes more efficient, secure and transparent. This transformative technology makes it possible for banks to operate on a single source of truth and eliminate potential risks and frauds.

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