November 11 2020 (Istanbul, London) – İşbank and Commerzbank together with their corporate clients have jointly run their second international trade finance pilot transaction based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). Payments were secured by digitally processing the related data transfer via Corda blockchain technology on the Marco Polo trade finance platform.
İşbank is the first bank in Turkey to perform a trade finance transaction using blockchain technology. The first transaction took place on 27 May 2020 between İşbank, Şişecam, Kuraray Europe GmbH, and Commerzbank AG. This time, the transaction happened on 2 November 2020 between İşbank, Sanko Holding Super Film, Brückner Group and Commerzbank AG. This second transaction supported the trading of machine parts from Germany to Turkey. It differs from the first transaction in terms of the type of goods, sector, parties, amount, and transaction details. Both transactions have been successfully completed utilizing Marco Polo’s Payment Commitment solution.
İşbank’s Deputy Chief Executive Şahismail Şimşek emphasizes: “Speed, reliability, and risk mitigation are the most crucial facts for increasing international trade volume. During the pandemic period, document sending and process controlling in trade finance had become more difficult, so digital trade solutions come to the forefront.” He further adds: “Since İsbank is very much aware of the importance of digitalization, blockchain studies deserves special emphasizes in our bank.”
Already today, more than 80 percent of the total world trade volume is settled by open account transaction. DLT and digitialized-based trade finance solutions that present payment guarantees for cross border trade are very important for risk mitigation. Marco Polo’s Payment Commitment solution is new and a major innovation in providing seamless and secure trade transactions. İsbank has been trying to serve its own corporates with new blockchain inspired technologies in addition to traditional trade finance solutions.
Key features of Marco Polo’s Payment Commitment solution are listed below:
- Importers, exporters and banks can create digitised programs that have trigger points to execute a transaction based on the program set up and that they have agreed on as four-corner models, allowing them to enter their own trade data and approvals easily by using Corda Blockchain technology.
- The corporate clients and banks involved in the transaction share data with each other on their nodes and via their Marco Polo Platform.
- Banks can undertake payment without dealing with document checking processes.
- Corporate clients gain operational speed by handling trade document management themselves and outside the banking document checking processes.
- Corporate clients can set up their digitised trade finance programs with the approval of banks, upload purchase orders, invoices and logistics data and review each banks’ payment commitments.
- Thanks to blockchain technology, the terms of the digitised trade finance program and the parties entering the data are apparent without any possibility to delete the underlying data. It can be re- entered only with the consensus of all parties.
- The digitised programs, the trigger points and undertaking of payments can be completed in a very short time and seamlessly instead of letter of credit transactions that take on average over ten days.
Daniel Cotti, MD Centre of Excellence, Banking & Trade at Marco Polo Network (formerly known as TradeIX) said: ”Europe and Turkey serve as key areas of growth for the Marco Polo Network and the success of the pilot transactions with these leading institutions is a great vote of confidence. With more collaborations planned in the near future, we are delighted to help banks and corporates overcome their trade finance challenges and make it easier for all to transact more securely, seamlessly and cost efficiently.”
About İşbank (isbank.com.tr)
İşbank was established in 1924 at the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, as the first national bank of Turkey, with a founding mission defined as “contributing to the foundation and development of the country”. İşbank serves retail, SMEs, and large corporate customers and provides all kind of banking services with an extensive network and around 24,000 employees through a strategy of achieving sustainable and profitable growth based on being “the bank closest to customers”. The bank has the most extensive private distribution network in the country with 1,219 domestic branches and 6,593 ATMs. The share of non-branch channels in total transactions has increased significantly in recent years and reached over 95,6% by September 2020. The number of the bank’s digital (mobile and internet banking) customers, which is continuously increasing, exceeded 8.9 million. İşbank also operates abroad through its 22 foreign branches. As a highly trusted financial institution, İşbank also maintains its pioneering position in foreign trade through its extensive correspondent network of banks based in around 120 countries. Today, creating value for the Turkish economy for almost 100 years, İşbank moves confidently towards the future not only with its numbers and initiatives in technology but also with extensive and social responsibility initiatives and sustainability activities.