Banking News

Vietnam’s HDBank joins HSBC, StanChart-backed Contour trade finance blockchain

container ship trade

Yesterday, Vietnam’s HDBank said it joined the Contour trade finance blockchain platform for improving the Letter of Credit issuance to its clients. It is the first Vietnamese bank to join the Contour network, previously known as Voltron. 

As of December 2019, HDBank had total consolidated assets of VND 229 trillion ($9.8 billion). The bank is joining Contour to offer trade finance services to corporates in Vietnam. Launched earlier this year, Contour is digitizing the letter of credit process, which involves a lot of paperwork. 

“The focus with our network has always been to establish a neutral platform that all different types of banks and corporates can use for trade finance transactions,” said Carl Wegner, CEO, Contour. “To fully unlock the potential of what enterprise blockchain can bring to trade finance, banks and corporates need to be able to collaborate and forge new connections.”

By leveraging blockchain for the letter of credit transactions, Contour is reducing the processing time and costs for banks as well as their clients. The blockchain solution was initiated by HSBC, ING, and a number of other banks. As the project progressed, other banks joined in, and the solution was officially launched after several pilots

Contour is built using R3’s Corda blockchain and was founded by seven banks — Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, SEB and Standard Chartered. Other backers include consultants Bain & Company and technology partner CryptoBLK as well as R3. 

“We saw the potential for Contour to revolutionize how we issue LCs and knew it was an opportunity like no other,” said Pham Quoc Thanh, CEO at HDBank. 

we.trade is another blockchain trade finance platform where HSBC is a member. Among other trade finance projects, dltledgers is currently in production and has processed over $3 billion since it launched.