2013 was a significant year for trade finance, with the market continuing to show a strong appetite for multi-bank and ePresentation solutions.
As the leading mechanism for multi-banking messages from corporates to banks, Bolero was the natural choice for two of the ‘big four’ Chinese banks: Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC). The comprehensive trade finance applications are delivered as web-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions, enabling speedy adoption, minimal infrastructure and flexible use. Bolero’s electronic multi-party channel solution is also specifically designed to ensure security, legal certainty, non-repudiation and document originality for all types of financial and shipping documentation.
ABC used these advances in technology for multiple commodity transactions, including a major iron ore deal for the Shagang Group and the first ever electronic presentation for a copper transaction, worth over USD $21m, for Yanggu Xiangguang Copper Co. Ltd. The types of documents concerned included those issued under a letter of credit and electronic Bills of Lading – essential requirements for international shipping.
And it wasn’t just the big Chinese banks looking to digitise their trade and trade finance processes. In fact, many mid-tier banks from around the world also implemented Bolero, including Thailand’s Siam Bank, South Africa’s Standard Bank, The Netherland's GE Artesia Bank and Austria’s Raiffeissen Bank. In many cases, this was a direct response to customer demand, with more corporates now using the Bolero Exchange to connect to multiple banks than any other solution. Uniquely, Bolero provides both the functional applications required to manage specific trade instruments (e.g. Letters of Credit, Bank Guarantees and Presentations) and an integrated network that connects a corporate to all of their banks and trade finance counterparties.The momentum over the past 12 months looks set to continue through 2014, with more mid-tier banks and corporates joining their larger counterparts in moving to the technology. Rather than forcing all parties to converge on a single platform, Bolero works in conjunction with corporate and carrier communities’ existing systems, reducing many of the barriers to entry and making it possible for more participants in the trade chain to make the most of the collaborative benefits on offer. This ability to go live within a matter of just days seems to be a key factor in driving adoption in the market.