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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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250 Corporates Join ICICI Bank Blockchain Test

Banking giant ICICI is moving ahead with a previously revealed blockchain trade finance initiative.

Announced Tuesday, the India-based company has enlisted more than 250 corporates to undertake domestic and international trade finance transactions using ICICI’s blockchain platform.

Corporate firms have signed up on the bank’s blockchain application and are using the technology in cross-border remittance for the payment of employee salaries, raw materials to domestic partners and payments to domestic vendors, a company release said.

As such, Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ICICI foresees blockchain having “immense potential to simplify the document-intensive trade transactions.”

Commenting on further moves, Kochhar said:

“We are also collaborating with peer banks and other partners to create a comprehensive ecosystem in the industry using blockchain and evolve common working standards to contribute to even greater adoption of this initiative.”

ICICI added that its blockchain application will help participating banks view data for such transactions in real-time. Buyers, sellers and other parties can also track documentation and asset authentication with the help of a series of encrypted and secure digital contracts.

The inclusion of corporates comes in line with ICICI’s successful completion of blockchain-based cross-border transaction for trade finance with Emirates NBD in 2016.

ICICI website homepage image via Shutterstock

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