Today banking tech firm Infosys announced the completion of a blockchain trade finance trial with R3. The trial involved 18 international banking groups joining the test network of Finacle Trade Connect, available on R3’s Corda.
Though Finacle Trade Connect has been around as a trade network since 2017, the trial comprised new blockchain integration with Corda and global participation. Banks included Alfa Bank, along with Axis Bank, Federal Bank, Fidelity Bank, Gulf International, Intesa Sanpaolo, Prime Bank, South Africa’s Standard Bank and RBL.
The trial simulated domestic and international trade processes, hoping to test out blockchain’s capability on the platform. After over 400 transactions were made with the Finacle Trade Connect test network over five weeks, participants found that processes were faster, more cost-efficient, and maintained trust and security.
Indeed, Fidelity’s Stephen Obasi said: “During the trial, processes which ordinarily would have taken days were concluded within hours by counterparties that are all connected in the ecosystem. The transparency, speed, trust and security offered by the platform makes the use case compelling for trade finance practitioners.”
Infosys shared that 67% of the trial participants believe that blockchain could reduce processing time by 30%. Some, 11%, went even further, thinking that the reduction could be over 50%. Most of the banks saw potential in cost efficiency, customer engagement, and streamlining cross border trade.
The Chief Business Officer of Infosys Finacle, Sanat Rao, stated: “With Finacle Trade Connect solution, our vision is to help banks dramatically reduce costs and improve customer experience by connecting banks, trade partners and corporates on a unified distributed network.”
However, only 44% thought that the trial demonstrated a significant impact on fraud prevention. With trade finance there’s always the risk of double financing. But until all trade finance networks share data to reduce this possibility, there’s only so much a single network can do to address fraud.
The Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network, which recently added Mastercard and the Bank of America as members, also uses R3’s technology as does the Voltron consortium.