HSBC on point with digitisation initiatives
HSBC Malaysia has launched the HSBCnet Trade Transaction Tracker, a service that comes with their HSBCnet Mobile app.
It aims to offer participants, the convenience of tracking trade transactions in real-time and is the first of its kind in Malaysia.
Regional Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance (GTRF) for HSBC Asia Pacific, Ajay Sharma, described the tracker as offering real-time updates without the manual emails that client service managers usually would have to send.
The bank prides itself on leading trade and trade finance globally, and Ajay opined that this tracker function is one of the areas they are upgrading to make operations simpler and faster.
“We are leading the (digital) trend with this trade tracker,” he said, adding that being the number one bank makes it incumbent for them to respond to the trade industry’s shift from paper towards digital.
New digital platform for supply chain on the way
That isn’t all
Ajay gave a sneak peek into a new digital supply chain platform which is due to arrive in Malaysia in the next 3 months at least. He described the endeavour as working with large corporations to serve supplier companies which tend to be from the SME segment.
“They typically have difficulty in getting financing, so when supplying to a large buyer, we can provide that financing in a digital-enabled manner,” he said. “It really enables financing for a segment which has difficulty accessing it. And we can do it in an efficient manner, without collecting paper and without meeting hundreds of clients.”
This platform was developed in collaboration with a fintech that HSBC also works with in other countries.
Upgrades all around
He also talked about relooking at all their platforms, in every country in the region over the next two years. The objective is to make the flow of information much easier so that servicing clients becomes easier, and the trade tracker is just one step in that direction.
Regulators are reacting towards these new technologies, a lot of time with a lot of curiosity, Ajay shared.
“After the first blockchain transaction last year, several of them came to us and asked, ‘What is it that you have done? Please come and explain it to us.’
“We do welcome the opportunity to explain,” he said.
Just last year, HSBC had completed a blockchain-powered trade transaction with ING and Cargill to ship soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia. Since then there have been about two more trade transactions based on blockchain technology, which involves different parties. The idea is that every party concerned will learn from each transaction and the system gets better as a result.
Ajay shared his hope that by next year, blockchain-based trading would be truly commercial with more banks and counter parties involved.
The industry has to converge around and put its weight behind one standard of blockchain-based trading, to achieve efficiencies of scale. Too many different standards that will only fragment the industry and ultimately inconvenience trading parties, stakeholders and customers.