TOKYO July 21 2020 — Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (“SMBC”, President and CEO: Makoto Takashima) signed a (1) Letter of Intent with Contour (Headquarters: Singapore) to participate in its “Beta Network” and (2) Membership Agreement with Komgo SA (Headquarters: Switzerland), and hereby announces its engagement in two blockchain based trade platforms.
Contour digitises the whole trade finance workflow and commercially launched this year, following an extensive period of testing with over 50 banks and corporates, and SMBC will be the first Japanese bank to join the Beta network. “Komgo” is the world’s first blockchain-based platform for the commodity trade ecosystem comprising 18 of the largest global banks, trading companies and oil majors as its shareholders. Both platforms aim to deliver significant efficiencies and transparency by digitalising Letters of Credit (LC) workflow of issuance, advise and funding.
The disruptions across the globe to normal working patterns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have further highlighted the need for digitalisation of paper-based trade processes to enable businesses to function effectively even in times of contingency.
SMBC is accelerating its move towards digital transformation as part of its response to COVID-19. With the successful completion of Proof of Concept and now in the process of launching the “Marco Polo” trade digitalisation platform into the market, SMBC aims to take further steps partnering with “Contour” and“Komgo” to cater value added trade service to our customers.
Sean Edwards, Head of Legal, SMBC, and Chairman, ITFA, said:
“These are just the first steps in a major project to digitise significant parts of our trade finance offering to benefit both us and our customers. This effort will reach into every part of our business and will create a significant network benefit as we combine our global reach, client-base and partnerships with the exciting possibilities of our tech and platform providers.”
Souleïma Baddi, CEO of Komgo, added:
“When using a multi-bank tool like Komgo, our corporate users expect to interact with as many of their trade banks as possible. SMBC are an important partner for Komgo users and a strong supporter of digitalisation. Their membership adds another layer of trust to our digital network, and brings significant value for our mutual clients.”