Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation SMBC is stepping up its involvement in blockchain-based trade finance networks, joining Singapore-based Contour and Swiss platform Komgo.
The Japanese bank, which is already in the process of launching the Marco Polo trade digitalisation platform into the market, has signed a letter of intent to join Contour's Beta Network and scored a membership deal with Komgo.
Contour digitises the whole trade finance workflow and commercially launched this year, following an extensive period of testing with over 50 banks and corporates. SMBC will be the first Japanese bank to join the Beta network.
Komgo is the world’s first blockchain based platform for the commodity trade ecosystem comprising 18 of the largest global banks, trading companies and oil majors as its shareholders.
Both Conttour and Komgo aim to deliver significant efficiencies and transparency by digitalising LC workflow of issuance, advise and funding.
"The disruptions across the globe to normal working patterns arising from the Covid-19 pandemic have further highlighted the need for digitalisation of paper-based trade processes to enable businesses to function effectively even in times of contingency," states the bank. "SMBC is accelerating its move towards digital transformation as part of its response to Covid-19."