TFG spoke to the leadership team at TradeIX, about DLT, Trade Platforms and SAP / treasury, following their recent announcement and reorganisation of their team. Find out what keeps the minds of the largest trade finance network up at night.

Following the recent news story around TradeIX’s new leadership team, TFG spoke to the management team to get a deep dive on their thoughts around DLT, SAP and treasury, interoperability and platforms in trade finance.

TradeIX is the platform provider powering the Marco Polo Network, the largest trade finance network, which is constantly growing with new bank members joining, and has just been awarded ‘Best New Application of Supply Chain Finance Technology’ by Global Finance.

David Sutter: Chief Strategy Officer

Will there be a convergence of DLT technology given that there are multiple platforms, and is there a need for a single platform?

“I think you see will see convergence and interoperability between DLT protocols but exactly when that will happens and how it occurs remains to be seen. Within trade specifically, there are now so many different consortiums, networks, platforms, and applications all building on a number of different distributed ledger technology protocols that it’s hard to imagine that we won’t eventually see some level of interoperability and convergence between them. There are, however, still some significant technical challenges to achieving true cross-protocol interoperability, especially when considering the pace of change and diversity of requirements presented by different uses cases and different industries. The good news is that it’s something everyone in the industry is looking at and there are major initiatives already underway focused on overcoming these challenges and projects providing early proof points that show interoperability or at least connectivity are definitely possible and valuable. As a company, we’ve made a decision to build on Corda because it is indisputably the best protocol for us, our clients, and the use cases we’re focused and we don’t see that changing but we cannot rule out the need to connect to other networks running on different protocols in the future.”

Geoff Ryan: Chief Financial Officer

What is the impact of DLT technology on trade and receivables finance in the last 5 years, and how will TradeIX shape the next 5 years?

DLT has had a powerful impact on trade finance in recent years. Today, both financial institutions and their corporate clients, realise the question no longer simply concerns the next application, or working capital finance solution, but about doing more with less. The market is now looking at new models, focusing on collaboration, increased efficiency, enhanced security and reduced costs in delivering solutions to customers with lower risk. Given that “cash is king”, and how much room there is for improvement in the market today, we feel our solutions will be transformative for both CFO’s and Treasurers, seeking to maximise cash resources, and fund growth. It will be interesting to see which organisations are among the first to take advantage of DLT technology and join the growing network of funders, credit insurers, B2B networks, technology and data providers reaping the benefits of this streamlined approach, and who will be left behind with their legacy applications.

Tawfique Hamid: Chief Revenue Officer

SAP and treasury are so important to any trading business. For trading businesses looking to optimise working capital, how does TradeIX help corporate treasury managers with working capital solutions?

I agree, SAP, as well as other ERP systems such as Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics, are key in the trade finance process and one of the main sources of trade-related data. So far, corporates had to integrate with centralized platforms from third-party providers. Based on the growing number of implemented financing programs such as Supply Chain Finance and Receivable Finance, corporates had to connect to multiple, in some cases over ten different systems with multiple standards and communication protocols. We are introducing the world’s first distributed ledger trade finance that offers flexible options for corporates and banks to connect with each other – options that range from ERP-embedded trade finance applications to web-based portals. The ERP-embedded applications will offer end-to-end trade finance functionality from within the ERP environment.

Shane O’Flynn: Head of Product & Engineering

From a customer and product perspective, how are banks and other stakeholders involved in DLT adopting these platforms and technologies, and what are they key barriers? What is TradeIX doing to improve the customer journey for banks?

Financial institutions and their corporate clients are very keen in adopting DLT for their trade finance business. They realize that the financial and IT systems that support global trade are aging, siloed, and have many manual steps injecting cost, risk and inefficiencies into trade processes for all parties involved. By joining the Marco Polo Network, members can access to the next generation trade finance infrastructure leveraging the Corda blockchain technology without having to build it themselves. One of the key barriers corporate’s face is still knowledge and expertise around blockchain technology and how it might apply to trade finance. However, with the Marco Polo Network, banks and corporate’s are collaborating and sharing best practices, expertise and their experience with blockchain technology, which makes the adoption in trade finance much faster.

About TradeIX

TradeIX, is an award-winning technology platform provider driving innovation and driving change in facilitating the flow of goods, money, and credit in the $8 trillion trade finance market. The TradeIX Platform is delivered to banks and their corporate clients via ERP-embedded applications. The TradeIX Platform is integrated with the Marco Polo Network, the world’s fastest growing trade finance network.

Some of the smartest financial institutions and companies in the world work with TradeIX, including ING, BNP Paribas, DHL, AIG, Oracle, and many other Fortune 500 companies from various industries. TradeIX is headquartered in Dublin with offices in London, Kettering and Singapore.