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Nordea launches blockchain-based we.trade platform for SMEs

Photo: Casper Hedberg/Bloomberg

Fri, 10 May 2019, 04:26 am UTC

European financial services giant Nordea has announced that it is launching blockchain-based we.trade platform for its small and middle-sized business customers (SMEs).

Built on the IBM Blockchain platform using Hyperledger Fabric, the we.trade platform has been jointly developed by twelve banks including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale, Banco Santander and UniCredit. Nordea joined the cohort in November 2017.

The platform is a “digital one stop shop for trade” and offers banks’ customers access to a simple user-interface, leveraging innovative smart contract and opening up potential new trading opportunities. In July 2018, it announced that the first live trade transactions have been conducted on its platform.

Nordea said that it is launching the platform following a successful soft launch last month. It added that the we.trade platform offers a secure venue for companies in Europe to trade with other European companies and expands its offering to SME customers.

Magnus Montan, head of Business Banking, said that while SMEs are increasingly getting involved in cross border trading, they face some common challenges including trusting their overseas trading partners.

“we.trade is not only about providing trade finance, it is something much bigger than that. It is about enabling trade and with we.trade we are creating an ecosystem for the global trade, where trust is an integral part,” Montan said.

Patrik Zekkar, Global Head of Trade Finance & Working Capital Management at Nordea, explained that trading over the we.trade platform simplifies the order and contract processes between buyers and sellers. The platform ensures security as trading is controlled through a set of rules, as well as offers flexibility as the parties can choose, for example, what events will trigger payments.

“By building an ecosystem for the buyer and seller, Nordea takes on a completely new role and interacts with the customer as early as from the order, not just at the time of payment. We support our customers through the entire process and offer several options to secure payment,” Nordea said.

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