While businesses have been interested in finding solutions to take paper out of international trade chains for twenty years or more, it’s only recently that success stories in large corporates have prompted others to sit up and take notice. In many cases, firms have been playing a wait-and-see game, understandably reluctant to jump in too soon.
So are we still stuck at the early stage of market adoption – or is electronic document presentation (ePresentation) poised to become the de facto standard?
Realistically, the answer is somewhere in between. In today’s early majority market, high-profile early adopters are making the most of collaborative technology solutions and using them to engage with carriers, banks and end-customers. Likewise, strong demand from key geographies across Asia underlines the belief that movement is underway, with leading banks in Korea and Japan along with three of the big four Chinese banks now using the Bolero platform. In fact, during the last 12 months Bolero processed more than US$7 billion as fully electronic presentations.
The active interest in electronic document presentations and intent to adopt was highlighted in a recent Bolero webinar, with a significant 148 VPs, managers and trade finance specialists from international banks all taking part. Responding to a poll after the event, 39% confirmed that they had received enquiries from customers about the use of an electronic bill of lading (eBL) to support their trade finance processes.
Whereas in the past it was a case of ‘only the brave,’ with a growing number of corporates across different geographies and industries now actively participating in the process, the era of all-electronic trade deals is undoubtedly coming ever closer.