Blog by Enno-Burghard Weitzel, SVP Strategy and Business Development at Surecomp
At Surecomp, we believe that sustainable global trade promotes growth and improves society. As such, companies of all sizes and in all locations should be enabled to trade in the simplest way possible – in other words, easily, seamlessly and with a superior user experience. As such, our mission is twofold:
- Remove any barriers that might hinder parties from doing trade, while facilitating collaboration and co-operation between parties.
- Foster sustainable trade that can be accessed by companies of all sizes.
By working towards these goals, we believe we have a role to play in helping more companies trade successfully with each other. Much has been written about the trade finance gap, which currently stands at $1.7 trillion according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). But what does this gap really represent? Effectively it means trade that could have been done, had it not been hindered by the high cost of transactions.
We might not be able to tackle every obstacle standing in the way of trade finance, such as high interest rates. But what we can do is make it easier for parties to trade with each other. We believe there’s an opportunity to achieve this by connecting trading parties more effectively, speeding up the flow of information and removing manual work from the processes associated with trade. So what might that look like in practice?
Taking trade finance to the next level
For one thing, it means allowing both corporates and banks to manage trade finance on the same platform. Let’s take the example of a letter of credit (LC) transaction. A collaborative trade finance solution could be used by both the applicant and beneficiary of the LC, together with the issuing bank and the advising bank. Throughout the life of a transaction, a container is shipped, border control needs to be navigated, and the ESG footprint of the transaction needs to be tracked. What if all of this could be enabled on the same platform?
Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions also have a lot of potential when it comes to making trade finance technology more accessible. With cloud-based solutions, there’s no need to install anything on-premise – which means that trade finance systems need no longer be limited to the largest corporates and the largest banks, but can be used by even a small business that only has access to a mobile phone. And there are further opportunities to make modern trade finance technology more accessible by embracing ‘freemium’ models that enable any bank or any corporate to get started at zero cost.
Last but not least, we recognise that trade has to be sustainable. That’s why we’re doing our part to enable collaboration across the whole ecosystem, and further the adoption of more sustainable trade. In our next blog, we’ll take a closer look at what that means.