Blog by Moisés Luque
As the eighth largest economy in Latin America by total GDP, Ecuador – a country known for its biodiversity and colonial architecture – has for a long time been almost exclusively reliant on the exportation of oil, bananas, shrimp and gold. In fact, international trade accounts for 98% of the country’s economy, so it’s no wonder that the appetite for trade finance digitization has been rapidly increasing and banks are now stepping up to meet the post-pandemic need for more agile customer service.
An established demand for digital services in the commercial and business world is now seeing widespread adoption the financial services industry. The use of technology is central to providing companies with access to international markets and new foreign trade activity which is of course, supported by the banks. A vital contributor to the success of international trade through their financing, banks are now recognizing the benefits that technology can afford them in not only being able to better manage transactions in an agile, secure and reliable way, but in solidifying customer relationships and maintaining market share.
Banks in Ecuador are now very clear about their responsibility in the development of the country’s foreign trade; and to this end, they are constantly looking for ways to innovate their services. However, investing considerable capital to acquire and maintain technologies that are deployed on their own premises are becoming cumbersome and expensive. Thankfully, there is now a more cost-effective, scalable cloud-based solution that allows banks to continue providing competitive trade finance services, while efficiently managing their internal processes and complying with necessary security protocols and compliance.
As the world’s trade banks wake up to the realization that trade finance digitization is a necessity – not just for post-pandemic growth but for survival – Ecuador is no exception. Ecuadorian banks are strengthening their presence in the Latam region with the adoption of cloud platforms, delivered notably by Surecomp through the business model of Trade Finance-as-a-Services (TFaaS). Banco Internacional is leading the way in a move that represents a company strategy and a bank-wide transition to the cloud. The fifth largest bank in Ecuador decided to onboard TFaaS as part of a trade finance transformation to achieve friction-less processing which is API-enabled and SWIFT SR 2021 compliant.
“The decision to upgrade our trade finance process integrates it firmly with our overall cloud-first strategy,” explains Luis Orbe, Vice President of Trade Finance at the bank. “This change helps reinforce our continued position as a leading trade finance provider in the country.”
By offering their domestic and international clients an innovative, digital and self-managed trade finance service, Ecuadorian banks can meet their growing customer demands on demand and to globally accepted standards. By deploying state-of-the-art cloud-based technology, the banking sector can now streamline and optimize the delivery of trade finance products, to deliver an enhanced customer service, which in turn, mitigates the risk of customers losing trade deals and facilitates corporate and economic growth.
Trade Finance as-a-Service (TFaaS) is a cost-effective, scalable and holistic, digital experience supporting the full portfolio of trade finance instruments, allowing customers to apply, track, finance and collaborate throughout the entire trade finance transaction processing lifecycle. Easy to onboard and highly configurable, it minimizes reliance on internal IT infrastructures and reduces cost of ownership. It is currently the preferred method of trade finance solution deployment in Ecuador and promotes collaboration with other trade ecosystem participants.