ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, announced that it has successfully on-boarded over 250 corporates on its blockchain platform for domestic & international trade finance, the most by any bank in India. With this, leading Indian corporates, including ones from the ‘S&P BSE 100 Index’, are now undertaking domestic / international trade finance transactions on the Bank’s custom-made blockchain platform.
This initiative marks another milestone in the Bank’s role to promote blockchain in the banking industry in the country. More than 250 corporates, including the country’s leading companies have signed up on the Bank’s blockchain application to experience a more time and cost efficient and secure way of undertaking domestic & international trade transactions. The usage of blockchain technology simplifies the paper-intensive trade finance process by bringing counter-parties on the same platform, enabling decision making in almost real time. It brings in the improved convenience of accurate and quick transactions, eliminating the need to wait for courier of paper documents across cities / countries and verification through trade intermediaries. This is in contrast to the current process wherein counter-parties await the receipt of lengthy paper trails to initiate domestic / international trade finance transactions.
Leading Indian corporates from ‘S&P BSE 100 Index’ have undertaken trade finance transactions of various types through ICICI Bank’s blockchain platform for trade finance. These include cross-border remittance for salary payment to employees of a group company of an organization, domestic vendor payments in another city and payments for raw materials to a domestic channel partner among many others.
The blockchain application created by ICICI Bank digitizes the paper-intensive international trade finance process as an electronic, distributed and unalterable ledger, and gives the participating entities including banks the ability to access a single source of information. It enables all the parties- buyers and sellers across domestic & international locations, all branches and locations of ICICI Bank in the country and overseas, to view the data in real time. It also allows them to track documentation and authenticate ownership of assets digitally and execute a trade finance transaction through a series of encrypted and secure digital contracts. Further, it allows each participant to check online the status of the application and transmission of original trade documents through a secure network.
As an additional initiative in the blockchain space, the bank also aims to expand the blockchain ecosystem by co-creating another blockchain based system for trade finance in partnership with other banks. To harness the full potential of the technology, this consortium seeks to invite various constituents of trade including buyers, sellers, logistics partners, insurance companies and other authorities on to the blockchain ecosystem for providing an end-to-end digitised trade solution.
The scale up of blockchain-led transactions comes close on the heels of a slew of technology-led innovative services introduced by ICICI Bank recently. The list includes the introduction of Software Robotics to power banking operations, the country’s first voice-based international remittance service on its Money2India application, country’s first instant credit card, instant small ticket digital lending with a leading payments platform and instant opening of Public Provident Fund account facility.