Today we.trade announced that Akbank, a top ten Turkish bank, has joined the blockchain trade finance platform. We.trade was initially founded as a consortium of 12 European banks which later incorporated in Ireland. Apart from affiliates of its shareholders, until now, Eurobank was the only non-shareholder licensee.
The platform uses blockchain to enable banks to offer open account financing, including invoicing financing and bank payment undertaking. With integrated tracking of deliveries, the solution also enables automated payments which are popular with corporates because it reduces late payments.
“Both in the world and Turkey, most of the trade volume is based on open account terms. Therefore, it is very important to bring innovative digital banking solutions, that provide security and speed in international trade, to our customers,” said Mehmet Tugal, EVP of Akbank Commercial Banking.
“We also believe that with the we.trade platform, which includes the leading banks of Europe, we will support the growth of exports by paving the way for exporters who have risk concerns about collections.”
Earlier this year we.trade raised a €5.5 million ($6.4m) funding round from a subset of existing shareholders and new investor CRIF, the credit information company that operates Skyminder. Last year the company had planned a larger investment round before the global pandemic took hold. IBM became a shareholder in May before layoffs were announced in June 2020. However, there’s no question COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for supply chain digitization and digitized trade finance is ever more pressing.