Standard Chartered has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with payments startup Tazapay to deliver digital escrow services to buyers and sellers looking to trade globally on Proxtera, a business-to-business marketplace network.
The initiative marks the bank’s first escrow-as-a-service offering, as well as the first bank to collaborate with Tazapay following its escrow agency partnership announcement with Proxtera in February this year.
A commercialisation of the Business sans Borders initiative launched in 2018 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Proxtera was established in 2020 with a vision to reduce friction in cross-border trade, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Tazapay was founded in 2020 by former executives from companies including Stripe, PayPal, Grab and Standard Chartered, and has raised almost $5 million in funding from partners including Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Saison Capital, RTP Global and January Capital.
Under the MoU, Standard Chartered will facilitate the opening of bank accounts required by Tazapay to receive and hold the escrow funds in both the buyers’ market and the escrow location, and enable the flow of funds to the sellers once Tazapay receives evidence of delivery or receipt of goods from the parties.
The pilot transaction for the MoU will take place between Singapore and India, with more corridors to be added in due course.
Philip Panaino, global head of cash management, transaction banking, Standard Chartered, says: “The MoU marks an important first step in our ambition to develop digital escrow as a universally trusted and accepted settlement method for trade and commerce.”