, Singapore

OCBC develops paper-lite trade finance platform to combat forgers

The move is part of its goal to grow its trade finance business which saw revenue growth of 20%.

Bloomberg reports that OCBC is doubling down its efforts to digitise the heavily paper-based trade finance sector in an attempt to reduce the risk of fraud and streamline the drawn-out process, according to Ng Chuey Peng, managing director and head of global commodities finance at OCBC.

Paper features heavily in the global merchandise flow as documents are used to establish existence, ownership and payment of goods. This renders the process particularly vulnerable to fraudsters with increasingly sophisticated attacks as seen when Standard Chartered and Citi lost millions in 2014 after forged warehouse receipts for metal in a Chinese port were used to raise funding.

Also read: Here are Asia's top trade finance banks

In response to these threats, Ng told Bloomberg that OCBC is working on a project that “leverage technology in order to reduce the use of paper in commodities trade finance” as part of its overall efforts to grow its trade finance business which saw revenue grow 20% since its inception in 2014. The bank will also formalise a Hong Kong team and a US-based staff in 2019.

“Blockchain, Komgo, Forcefield, Vakt, one of these will have to work to change how trade is being done,” Ng told Bloomberg. “It’s a matter of time. When, I can’t tell, but I think it has to go paperless.”

Hong Kong, for instance, has launched a blockchain trade finance platform, eTradeConnect, with the aim of digitising trade documents and enabling real-time sharing amongst all participants, effectively making transactions more transparent and reducing the risk of fraud and duplicate financing.

Here’s more from Bloomberg

Join Asian Banking & Finance community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!


Hong Kong’s livi bank launches game-changing app for SMEs
Going fully digital on opening accounts and approving quick loans to SMEs raises ‘livi Business’ disbursements to over HK$70m (US$8.9m) as of end-April.
3 principles guide Bank Aladin Syariah in tapping Indonesia’s customer segments
Within a year, the digital sharia bank got past low penetration to record 1.7 million customers and now targets multiple times growth by end-2023.
Bankers face sluggish hiring market, layoffs in Hong Kong
Industry insiders reveal how investment banks prioritize cost efficiency and productivity over hiring new employees.