UAE Trade Connect, which launched in April as a blockchain trade finance solution for banks, has processed AED 10 billion ($2.7bn) in invoices on the platform since its launch. However, the platform doesn’t yet process financing. Instead, the AED 10 billion represents the value of invoices checked for fraud analysis and ensures the customer isn’t trying to finance the invoice more than once.
The initiative was co-created by Etisalat Digital and seven participating banks, with the central bank as an observing member on the steering committee. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) was the bank that initiated the project, and several additional banks are piloting the solution with plenty of potential to expand with 48 banks in the UAE. Current consortium banks are First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Mashreq, National Bank of Fujairah, RAKBANK and Commercial Bank International.
Ideally, all the UAE banks should use the solution to be bulletproof. Otherwise, a fraudster can target the banks that don’t. Or finance an invoice with one of the consortium members and do the second financing with a non-member.
When the platform was launched, fraud detection was the initial application. The roadmap includes sanctions screening and anti-money laundering as well as more traditional trade finance funding applications after that.
The solution works by taking an invoice’s hash or digital fingerprint so that the banks don’t see the details of another bank’s invoices. By comparing the hash it can be confirmed whether the invoice has been financed by one of the other consortium banks. UAE Trade Connect was built on the Hyperledger Fabric enterprise blockchain.
Meanwhile, other solutions are also targeting double financing. Every trade finance blockchain should be able to detect if a network member has already financed an invoice. But it won’t pick up invoices funded outside of its network.
The first double financing solution was launched by MonetaGo in India back in 2018 with SWIFT India as a partner. In September, MonetaGo partnered with SWIFT to explore rolling out the solution globally. It also ran a proof of concept in Singapore and integrated with blockchain platforms TradeLens and we.trade.