Nordea has become the ninth banking member of the we.trade consortium, which is building a shared platform that aims at making domestic and cross-border commerce easier for European companies by harnessing the power of distributed ledger technology.
The joint venture, which consists of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit, was formed earlier this year to meet the financing gaps hampering domestic and cross-border trade for small and medium enterprises in Europe, while helping to increase overall trade transaction transparency.
IBM won the contract to provide the cloud-based system in a competitive bidding process in June. It will address the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions by connecting all parties both online and via mobile devices.
Ville Sointu, head of DLT & blockchain at Nordea, comments: "In the current broad landscape of blockchain technology based initiatives in trade finance we see we.trade 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."
Incorporated in Ireland, the joint venture also welcomed Banco Santander to its roster last month and is gearing up for a commercial roll-out in Q2 2018 ahead of a test run in February with bank clients.
Over time, the consortium is expected to grow to include additional banks from other countries and as well as trading partners such as shippers, freight forwarders and credit agencies. To this end, a three-person onboarding team has been formed to welcome new banks to the platform.