Lloyds Bank is to bring blockchain to bear on trade finance documentation, using technology from Swedish firm Enigio to dematerealise promissory notes, bills of exchange and bills of lading.
Enigio’s trace:original technology enables the creation of digital documents that can be ‘possessed’ by an individual, transferred between parties and originals can be distinguished from copies, just like paper-based counterparts.
The relationship with Lloyds follows a pilot trial in August last year, which saw the bank completing a promissory note transaction involving the sale and purchase of land worth £48 million between several UK businesses in a day.
In February 2023, Lloyds Bank also shared its experience in electronic payment undertakings (ePUs) under the the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA) Digital Negotiable Instrument Initiative initiative to help fintech group Mercore complete the UK’s first digital bill of exchange transaction, which was also executed through trace:original.
Gwynne Master, managing director, lending and working capital, Lloyds Bank, says: “Existing industry-wide trade solutions are, comparably, much slower, more cumbersome and more environmentally intensive than their digital counterparts, involving upwards of 28 billion pieces of paper, globally every year. Digitisation makes processes faster, cheaper and more secure. We support the adoption of digital trade documents and look forward to collaborating widely with our clients and partner banks to support their continued uptake.”
He says the bank intends to explore further opportunities to feature trace:original documents within wider trade finance products, such as documentary collections and credits.
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