HKMA launches blockchain-based trade finance platform

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched Hong Kong’s first blockchain-based international banking trade finance platform “eTradeConnect” to boost efficiency in the , announced at the Hong Kong Fintech event yesterday.

The new platform aims to enhance trade efficiency, build better trust among trade participants and reduce risks. Leveraging blockchain technology, financial institutions will be able to access real-time, secured and comprehensive trade information to conduct their risk assessment on loans.

It is also expected to reduce the risk of fraud in letters of credit (LoC) and other transactions used in trade finance by digitalising trade documents and automating trade finance processes.

OneConnect, a fintech subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd, was appointed as the technological provider to help design, develop and deploy the platform.

The platform initially connected 12 major domestic banks, including Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Bank of China (Hong Kong), The Bank of East Asia, DBS Bank (Hong Kong), Hang Seng Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of Communications Co, BNP Paribas, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), and Shanghai Commercial Bank.

The platform will collaborate with We.Trade, the European-based digital trading platform, to enable better trading with European banks including Deutsche Bank and UBS, HKMA said in a statement.

Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, “Our next key milestone is to link eTradeConnect with platforms from other regions in order to enable cross-border trade financing. The connection between eTradeConnect and we.trade platform paves the way for the digitalisation of cross-border trades in the Asia and Europe trade corridor, and will serve as a good reference for the future connection of eTradeConnect to other trade finance platforms.”