ASB in partnership with VerifyUnion has successfully launched this country's first bank blockchain single trade window. It comes after the platform was used by Kiwi meat exporter Greenlea Premier Meats to make a trade with a large Korean importer. The platform was used in parallel to the traditional trade process.
All the relevant documents relating to the trade were able to be uploaded, shared and updated within the secure platform which will save time for all those involved in the supply chain - from ASB, Greenlea, the shipping company, to Maritime New Zealand and other government agencies.
ASB's GM Global Transaction Banking Greg Beehre says "This is a significant new chapter in the history of New Zealand sharing our products with the rest of the world. We're proud to be one step ahead progressing New Zealand's single trade window and excited to be using blockchain technology to digitise and improve the trade process for our customers."
Having a secure blockchain platform to conduct business not only reduces the time New Zealand exporters will need to spend on documentation throughout the trade process, as Jack Vollebregt CFO of Greenlea explains, it also reduces the risks of fraud and cyber security threats.
"We're exporting to 40 different countries and being able to use the ASB blockchain platform removes the weak spots and ensures the integrity of the data. We also especially like the instant translation capability which will limit any misunderstandings or human error that can come from dealing with businesses based in different countries and time zones," Vollebregt says.
"Plus, it offers traceability and is scalable across the whole supply chain ecosystem giving all partners in the process a competitive advantage. That was really important to us here at ASB," Beehre says.
Witnessing the milestone trade was VerifyUnion who designed the platform for ASB.
"New Zealand is an export led economy. It was really important to us to be able to use emerging technologies to help ASB solve a real problem facing its exporting customers. At the documentation layer, the blockchain-enabled supply chain allows partners to access key documents, such as a bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs, which streamline these processes. The application of blockchain technology in trade creates the potential for multi-beneficial productivity gains to the supply-chain," AJ Smith, VerifyUnion CEO says.
Also involved in the test is insurer Vero, whose marine insurance division is one of the leading export insurers in New Zealand, and Prodoc, New Zealand's leading export documentation processing company.
"New Zealand exporters are some distance from most of their overseas markets, and having secure verified insurance certificates is critical to protecting local businesses from the risk of transit incidents," Allen Chong, Executive Manager, Marine at Vero says. "Marine insurance is an old and very traditional form of insurance, but blockchain has a lot of potential to provide an efficient and reliable successor to previous paper-based systems. It's exciting to be moving marine insurance into the modern world of automation."
Prodoc CEO Steve Cox says, "Using couriers and email for the 'last mile' of documentation has always been a source of cost and possible fraud. By reducing the cost and bringing in blockchain to verify the authenticity of documentation, the trade can be facilitated faster and the trust relationship between the exporter and their customer can be improved."
In its quest to continue to innovate, ASB says the next stage is doing a trade via airfreight. Participants will be announced in coming weeks.