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Recently Rebranded Trade Finance Start-Up Gets A Huge Boost After Standard Chartered Invests More Cash.

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By investing an unpublished amount into Contour,  hopes to smoothen the transaction settlement process. Contour, a blockchain trading platform based in Corda. It rebranded its name from Voltron last week. It recently recruited R3’s Asia Chief Carl Wagner to serve as a CEO to better prepare for the full introduction of its digitalized LoC (letter of credit) service commercially. According to Contour, using digitalized LoC reduces the processing time from around two weeks to only one day or less in several pilot projects.

Lisa Robins, the Head Of Transaction Banking in Standard Chattered Global, said the company would reduce the complexity of the trade process by decreasing the numbers of papers required. A letter of credit is a vital part of the trade between countries or cross-border because they bank-backed payment guarantee and are a piece of transmittable evidence the trader will receive the money owed. However, to process and settle LoCs, it can take almost ten days, according to Contour. Contour also gets financial backing from several other financial institutions like Bangkok Bank, HSBC, ING, CryptoBLK, Bain and Co., CTBC Venture, SEB, R3, and BNP Paribas.
Global Trading Review (GTR) was the first to report on Contour’s rebranding.

In a recent post, Carl Wagner commented that the opportunity cost in Trade finance is massive, Commodities, services, and product worth trillions of dollars are transacted every day. However, the sector still has expensive, slow, and duplicative processes. Contour will be offering a digital network where secure information will be transmitted in real-time, which will effectively digitize letter-of-credit across every user in all transactions.

When Contour was operating as Voltron, it found that a blockchain LoC strategy was capable of reducing the processing time to 24hours, this is after testing the LoC digital platform on shipments of oil across borders and also Yuan-denominated transactions. In May 2019, out of 50 banks that participated in R3-run trade trials, 96 percent agreed with the findings of Voltron that blockchain LoC was capable of significantly reducing the finance processing time to 24hours.

Contour, a year later, is now planning to take advantage of those sentiments from their institutional clients. The company is now strategizing on getting more corporates, banks, and partners on the network, and continuing to work hand in hand with their growing community, Wegner commented. According to GTR, Contour is planning to publicize a commercial version of Digital LoC in the second half of 2020 and also planning to create a technical staff in the meantime.

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