SIA debuts digital trade finance platform

Source: SIA

SIA, a leading European hi-tech company in the payment services and infrastructures sector, controlled by CDP Equity, launches a new platform that allows banks to fully digitize trade finance processes, making it easier and faster for corporates and SMEs operating in markets around the world to manage documentary credit dossiers.

Thanks to the innovative "Digital Trade Finance" solution designed and implemented by SIA, banks can now support the internationalization process of companies and take advantage of new business opportunities with foreign counterparts.

This platform allows banks to simplify to a high degree back-office operations and Global Transaction Banking internal functions through paperless - and therefore totally digital and sustainable - processing of dossiers.

Further benefits relate to the ease of integration with banks’ information systems, the reduction of execution times and greater operating efficiency thanks to digitization of the dossier, which can be processed by the various central and peripheral competence centers - even remotely - in a shared context among all the actors involved.

A possible evolution of the platform will also concern the use of Artificial Intelligence applications, both to support the processing phases of the dossier, such as in the reconciliation of documents or during compliance checks, and for Business Intelligence activities.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio, which has always been at the forefront of innovation in international payments, actively participated in the development of SIA's solution by providing the expertise of its internal structures from the very beginning of the project. Thanks to SIA's new platform, Banca Popolare di Sondrio is the first bank to digitize the entire trade finance process. The project concerned, in particular, the management of letters of credit, from the pre-contractual phase to the settlement phase, making it possible to move to a completely electronic dossier.

The "Digital Trade Finance" solution is an integral part of SIA EasyWay, the digital payments infrastructure that supports financial institutions and other Payment Service Providers in the adoption and management of SEPA payment and collection instruments, instant payments, cross-border payments and, more generally, the new open banking scenario.

"With the launch of the new Digital Trade Finance platform, SIA strengthens its commitment towards banks in supporting the internationalization process of corporates and SMEs. Today more than ever, companies need to simplify processes in order to focus on new business opportunities. Thanks to SIA's technology, they now have a digital tool that facilitates access to foreign markets. The decision by Banca Popolare di Sondrio to choose SIA's experience confirms our position as a reliable and innovative partner in the digital transformation process", commented Daniele Savarè, Innovation & Business Solutions Director of SIA.

"The innovative project for the digitization of documentary credit dossiers involved our International Service division which, in a proactive manner and thanks to the knowhow acquired over years of assisting companies in the Trade Finance sector, was able to support the SIA team in all the stages of study and realization of this new platform", stated Mario Erba, Vice General Manager of Banca Popolare di Sondrio. "Our bank has always worked closely with client companies operating in international markets, supporting them with professional and comprehensive services from the early stages of the internationalization process right up to the signing of contracts with foreign counterparts. And it is precisely documentary credits that allow us to mitigate the commercial risks inherent in foreign trade. The dematerialization of this process will allow our bank to respond even more effectively and rapidly to the needs of exporters and importers", concluded Erba.

Documentary credits are structured payment instruments that are typically used by companies in import-export operations, the processing of which requires the involvement of numerous actors - including various bank departments as well as customs offices, chambers of commerce, couriers, shipping agents and sometimes government ministries - and the exchange of information and documents such as contracts, invoices, bills of lading, etc. takes place in paper format, thus slowing down procedures and increasing the probability of operational errors.

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