Contour, the global trade finance network, has today announced that Standard Bank Group has joined its beta network. This marks Standard Bank as the first bank in Africa to be part of Contour’s network as part of Contour’s commitment to creating a decentralised, inclusive trade finance ecosystem.
By being part of Contour’s network, Standard Bank will benefit from direct connectivity with other blockchain and traditional partner networks, allowing them to digitise the trade finance process. As Contour scales its digital network, its offering will expand beyond the Letter of Credit (LC) to other data ‘pain points’ such as standby LCs and guarantees.
The African continent is in a unique position to leapfrog other more developed markets through the use of disruptive technology. Standard Bank is excited to be part of this network to deliver an open platform for documentary trade. The use of Corda blockchain technology is expected to offer significant efficiencies to transacting Letters of Credit through digital channels. Standard Bank looks forward to working with the Contour team as it embarks on this exciting journey and remains confident that stakeholders throughout the trade value chain will join them.
Contour’s continued expansion through this new addition to its network, highlights the company’s growing popularity in developing the new global standard for trade. With this addition to its network, Contour has continued to redefine how international trade is conducted through establishing a process without barriers that are secure and stable.
As the world adapts to social distancing and remote working in a post-lockdown world, the use of paper-based processes will become increasingly problematic for economies. Through Standard Bank joining Contour’s network, corporates will benefit from improved processing times by up to 90%. This, combined with a robust governance process, means Contour can meet the most stringent business, regulatory and technology requirements – allowing for easier trade across borders.
Carl Wegner, CEO, Contour said: “As our network continues to grow, we are dedicated to delivering on the principles that Contour was founded on. We weren’t developed to solve the needs of the few – but rather overhaul the entire industry – from a small corporate with an international reach in a developing market, to the world’s largest companies in major trading hubs. With Standard Bank now leading the way in another continent, we’re continuing that goal of changing the industry, evolving outdated methods and making the entire process of trade finance easier for everyone. We want to create an inclusive ecosystem that allows both small and large players to grow their business overseas and conduct trade finance with ease.”
Kevin Holmes, Head Trade Product Management at Standard Bank said: “With businesses across the world having to adapt to changing work processes, it’s important that international trade is not left behind. Joining Contour has allowed us to expand our offering in collaboration with International Financial Institutions to corporates across the region harnessing Contour’s technology to provide our clients with an enhanced user experience. Being part of the beta opens up our connections with Contour’s other participants, giving us greater access to the opportunities to manage our trade finance business.”