Hong Kong’s central bank rolls out blockchain-based trade finance

Sainul Abudheen
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Hong Kong Monetary Authority has already signed 21 banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, for the new system which will go live in August

Hong Kong Monetary Authority, in partnership with fintech company OneConnect (owned by China-based Ping An Group), has launched a blockchain-powered trade finance system, says a Financial Times report.

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The Hong Kong regulator has already on-boarded 21 banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, for the new system which will go live in August. Since it is on blockchain, the system is expected to reduce the time and paper work related to trade finance and supply-chain finance transactions, as it makes it easy to verify each step of the process and confirm the credentials of the parties involved.

The platform will be owned by the banks that have partnered with the market regulator.

While this will be one of the first and largest examples of a government-led project aimed at upgrading the US$9 trillion global trade finance industry, several leading banks have already started blockchain-based trade finance platforms. The names include HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Rabobank.

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“Instead of individual banks trying to do this you have the regulator trying to bring the banks together,” Ping An’s deputy CEO Jessica Tan said.

As a user authentication system, OneConnect has built an internet financial account management platform. Its user groups involve banking, insurance, securities, funds, loans, wealth management, payment, healthcare, innovative Internet and other fields. It provides online banking-level security account certification services for fast customer acquisition and precision marketing.

According to Tan, one key feature of OneConnect is that it would allow small companies greater access to trade and supply-chain finance.

 

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