TradeTech

TradeTech | ICC, TFG and WTO Guide

TradeTech

Welcome to the TFG TradeTech hub. International trade and trade finance is going through rapid innovation, thanks to the advancement of both developed and brand new technologies. In the TFG TradeTech hub, we focus on how technologies affecting the digitalization of freight and transport, trade and customs and access to finance. TradeTech can help reduce some of the biggest challenges when it comes to paper documents, access to MSME finance and getting goods from A to B would be easier.

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Access trade, receivables and supply chain finance

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Videos – TradeTech

TradeTech Podcasts





Featured Insights

COVID-19: A Catalyst for Digitalization? The pandemic has undoubtedly had countless negative implications for the global community. However, amidst all the turmoil there have been some silver linings.
VIDEO: Trade Digitalization and Financing: New Hope for MSMEs MSMEs around the globe struggle to obtain financing. Why do these MSME financing constraints exist and is a digital future providing new hope for all those firms that are struggling to stay afloat?
ICC, TFG and WTO release the latest research on trade digitalization facilitating MSME financing WTO, TFG and ICC have today launched their latest publication ‘Accelerating trade digitalization to support MSME financing’

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TradeTech – Layers

TradeTech – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of TradeTech?

Trade finance technology, often abbreviated as TradeTech, refers to the use of technology, innovation, and software to support and digitally transform the trade finance industry. It is often considered to be a subcategory of the more widely used term, FinTech. TradeTech, which can include several technologies, puts a particular emphasis on the application of technology and software to modernize trade finance.

These technologies include but are not exclusively limited to cloud computing, optical character recognition (OCR), internet of things (IoT), big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and application programming interface (API).

Who uses TradeTech and what is its role in global trade?

TradeTech can be used by any firm in the international trade ecosystem. While TradeTech applications are often developed by large banks or innovative technology companies, the applications themselves are not limited to this demographic. 

Many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), however, are often under the impression that technology is simply not for them and view it as complex and costly. This may be due to the idea that some digital trade technology solutions focus more on trying to explain the technology itself rather than simplifying the explanation and service offering to MSMEs, leading to a lack of audience engagement. Continual efforts to make MSMEs aware of the plethora of opportunities available to them are important. Governments may have a role to play in this respect to raise awareness and provide education for MSMEs.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted TradeTech?

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the development and adoption of many TradeTech applications. Largely, these have come about as a result of a lack of physical employee presence at the usual places of business, coupled with the inability to print and transport documents. Operating under “normal” processes has not been an option. To cope, banks have been forced to create or scale up ad hoc digital processes.

Despite this firm-level acceleration, there have also been indications that many banks have not received significant meaningful support from government authorities to facilitate trade on digital terms. Nevertheless, the desperate necessity for paperless workarounds has set the industry on a digital course.

Does TradeTech include data security?

Absolutely. Given the vast amounts of data that exist today, data security must be treated as a top priority and subsequently exists at the heart of nearly every TradeTech application. For some, like distributed ledger technology, the security of data is at the core of their reason for being. 

For many firms, using TradeTech applications will go a long way towards boosting their data security. This is because TradeTech providers generally operate internationally. In order to do so effectively, the data security standards that they use to protect consumer data must meet the stringent requirements of every region they operate within. For most end-users, this means that their data will be protected to a standard greater than that legally required in their own jurisdiction.  

What is the most prominent technology in trade?

There is a complex interplay between all of the technologies used in trade. Each technology relies on the capabilities of others to deliver its most powerful benefits. Some of them work to collect and deliver data, others analyse and interpret this data, and still others provide the infrastructure which allows this communication to occur. Take, for example, the role of the internet of things (IoT) in this relationship. IoT devices and sensors on their own provide minimal value. However, when they are combined with the secure transmission capabilities of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the analytical capabilities of big data analytics tools enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), they are able to deliver meaningful and actionable information.

To name one technology as the most prominent would be like deciding which part of a car is the most important. One could argue the engine, or the brakes, or the tires – but it is safe to agree that the car is just better when it has all of these combined together. 

Why is technology in trade so underdeveloped relative to other industries?

Many of the cumbersome processes that exist in trade today have been developed to allow parties to a transaction to trust the outcome of the transaction even if they do not trust their counterparties. Considering that the counterparties are often on opposite sides of the globe and operating in vastly different legal systems, it has been critical to thoroughly develop robust instruments that both parties trust to facilitate these transactions. 

Until recently, the technological tools that could be used simply did not suffice in facilitating this trust – meaning that they were just not good enough to replace the paper processes that were already in place. This led to several decades of technological progress in other industries that effectively bypassed international trade.  

Today, however, with advancements in technology such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is finally possible to trust digital mechanisms in lieu of their paper counterparts that have been in use for so long.  

How can TradeTech help inform trade policy?

Most current national regulations do not allow most TradeTech solutions to be widely adopted. This stems from legal concerns, such as the ambiguity of Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) rules, which do not specify whether digital tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in lieu of humans. As increased developments and proofs of concept demonstrate the efficiencies and power of TradeTech, policymakers around the globe will be forced to modernize their nation’s policy or sit idly by as the global economy moves on without them. 

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has already developed a model law that would create an enabling regulatory framework recognizing e-signatures and e-documents – the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR).  The UNCITRAL MLETR has already been adopted by 2 countries – the Kingdom of Bahrain and Singapore. Its adoption by the broader global community is critical to the continual development of TradeTech solutions. 

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Contents

Access trade, receivables and supply chain finance

We assist companies to access trade and receivables finance through our relationships with 270+ banks, funds and alternative finance houses.
Get started

Latest TradeTech News

30Mar

COVID-19: A Catalyst for Digitalization?

0 Comments

The pandemic has undoubtedly had countless negative implications for the global community. However, amidst all the turmoil there have been… Read More →

30Mar

VIDEO: Trade Digitalization and Financing: New Hope for MSMEs

0 Comments

MSMEs around the globe struggle to obtain financing. Why do these MSME financing constraints exist and is a digital future… Read More →

30Mar

ICC, TFG and WTO release the latest research on trade digitalization facilitating MSME financing

0 Comments

WTO, TFG and ICC have today launched their latest publication ‘Accelerating trade digitalization to support MSME financing’… Read More →

29Mar

How NFTs might play a role in international trade

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You might have heard a lot of hype around these things called NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. How can these digital… Read More →

25Mar

Finastra Integrates Enigio Solution with Fusion Trade Innovation to Make Paperless Trade Finance a Reality

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More than 90% cost savings could be possible from using distributed ledger technology to handle authoritative digital original documents… Read More →

17Mar

TFG and ICC partner up with the WTO and the Global Blockchain Forum

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ICC, TFG and WTO are partnering at the 2021 Global Trade & Blockchain Forum, themed “Accelerating Trade Digitalization through DLT”…. Read More →

16Mar

Celebrating the TradeTech heroes of 2020

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In a year that shook the foundation of trade, these innovators rose to the challenge and helped the industry to… Read More →

16Mar

How disruption is accelerating inclusive innovation across the global supply chain

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A three pillar approach to achieving a more sustainable and inclusive future for global trade
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16Mar

Leveraging credible data to monitor sustainable trade and finance

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Comprehensive and accessible data can empower stakeholders when it comes to going green
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16Mar

Model Law: finding solutions to forward-thinking legislation

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MLETER demands both verification and data privacy, trace:original may offer the answer.
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16Mar

The role of data in the new year of trade

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Data will be at the centre of a brave new world in trade finance – Natasha Condon, JP Morgan… Read More →

16Mar

Enabling automated processes in credit risk

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The most important IT investments of companies, banks, and financial institutions are in collaboration with business partners, digital transformation, big… Read More →

16Mar

Technology trends in credit insurance and surety

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Collaboration with the scientific community stands to fast track technology in insurance and surety. We should be doing more to… Read More →

16Mar

Digitalisation and sustainability: two key trade finance trends in Asia

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In early 2021, we are still emerging from the economic wreckage caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic -… Read More →

16Mar

Mapping supply chains amid a global crisis

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How interactive tools can empower firms to trace vital supplies in times of crisis… Read More →

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