Contour, a Singapore-based open trade finance network, today announced its partnership with essDOCS, an enabler of paperless trade. The news comes after Contour and essDOCS’ initial collaboration powering a recent paperless trade transaction between Rio Tinto and Baosteel.
Following this transaction, the two companies completed a full integration between Contour and essDOCS’ CargoDocs solution in order to enhance their joint offering for future customer transactions, according to the announcement.
As all industries are now aiming to reduce their overreliance on paper to address environmental, efficiency, and safety concerns, the integration between the two solutions looks to further facilitate this goal for the trade finance sector.
Contour’s non-partisan network, powered by R3’s Corda blockchain technology, allows all banks, financial institutions, and corporates to improve access, communication, and transparency when conducting trade finance agreements. essDOCS’ CargoDocs platform fully digitizes the creation, approval, and exchange of original electronic documents including bills of lading, warehouse warrants, and more, slashing trade document turnaround times and accelerating transaction speed for all parties involved.
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The Contour-CargoDocs integration allows for complete access to original electronic documentation and data relevant to a given trade finance transaction (such as under a Letter of Credit) – consolidated within the Contour application, providing a holistic solution and eliminating data siloes, the firms revealed.
They explained that the full integration also means that all key CargoDocs capabilities, such as an electronic bill of lading drafting, approval, signing, issuance, transfer, presentation, supporting document upload plus optional convert to paper, are now fully integrated with the Contour application. This enhances user experience and providing the key functionality for end-to-end paperless trade through one solution, according to the statement.
Digitizing the trade finance industry
“Our continued growth aims to encourage all businesses to collaborate, and with essDOCS joining the Contour network, we’re furthering our goal to digitise the trade finance industry. With environmental concerns around the overuse of paper in the sector, as well as the need to conduct business in a safe, yet practical manner, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this collaboration will allow us to provide electronic documents on our network, digitise the sector and improve the way trade finance is conducted,” Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour, said.
“Digitisation is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather a critical capability that streamlines trade and protects stakeholders. Cross-platform collaboration allows supply chain data to flow seamlessly, and is vital to enabling corporates and banks to benefit from more complete paperless trade solutions. Through this partnership, our mutual customers can access the full capabilities of Contour and CargoDocs from a single user interface,” Alexander Goulandris, Co-CEO at essDOCS, said.