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Infosys Partners with 7 Banks for Blockchain Trade Finance Network

Indian IT giant Infosys is exploring the potential of blockchain technology to bring new efficiencies in trade finance.

Infosys Finacle, a subsidiary of the firm, announced Wednesday the development of a trade network called India Trade Connect (ITC) in partnership with seven Indian private banks, including ICICI, Axis Bank, South Indian Bank and Yes Bank.

The blockchain-based network has been designed to digitize trade finance business processes and covers areas such as ownership validation, certification of documents and payments.

ITC is currently being used by the banks for a pilot project, using the blockchain-based solution to, a release states, increase automation and transparency, and help manage risks in trade and supply chain financing. According to Infosys, ITC has been built to be blockchain “agnostic” in order to “future-proof” the network against future changes in technology.

Sanat Rao, chief business officer at Infosys Finacle, said he hopes to bring more banks into the consortium in order so they can learn about the potential benefits of blockchain systems.

Rao said:

“Digitization of trade finance processes using distributed ledger technology offers immense potential to eliminate the friction, cut costs and increase revenue through new business products that are now viable using the modern technologies.”

ICICI bank, which recently announced a blockchain trade finance initiative involving over 250 companies, said that the partnership “will enable automation, increase transparency as well as enhance efficiency across trade and supply chain operations.”

Going forward, the group aims to create a “comprehensive blockchain ecosystem, thereby contributing towards greater adoption of this technology,” said Ajay Gupta, senior general manager at ICICI Bank.

Infosys building image via Shutterstock

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Standard Chartered, Axis Launch Payments Service With Ripple Tech

Financial institutions Standard Chartered and Axis Bank have announced a new cross-border payments platform built on top of technology developed by Ripple.

Unveiled today, the platform – which will connect corporates between Singapore and India – will be accessible through Standard Chartered’s Straight2Bank system. According to SC’s release, the platform will allow users to see all fees up front, pre-validate transactions and thereby more quickly settle them.

Reports in March indicated that multiple banks, including Standard Chartered, have plans to launch a similar system across several countries next year. Further, the bank was one of a number of institutions of its kind to take part in a $55 million Series B round in Ripple in 2016.

Gautam Jain, who serves as managing director and global head of client access for Standard Chartered, said in a statement:

“The successful launch of our commercial cross-border payment service marks a significant milestone in the financial industry’s progress in applying distributed ledger technology for corporates.”

Not included in the cross-border platform is Ripple’s XRP digital asset. A spokesperson for the startup confirmed that SC and Axis are not using XRP to facilitate transactions between Singapore and India.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which as an ownership stake in Ripple.

Ripples image via Shutterstock

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