UBS Now Live On we.trade Blockchain Platform For Trade Finance

UBS Now Live On we.trade Blockchain Platform For Trade Finance

Swiss financial giant UBS has enabled full-fledged transactions on we.trade, a trade finance platform based on blockchain that is close to mainstream adoption by its member banks.

At the beginning of October, UBS announced that it went live on we.trade, providing services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

We’re reaching out to clients on a one-to-one basis to educate them on the new platform and walk them through the process.
— UBS Spokesperson

Blockchains improve the historically paper-based world of global trade with a distributed digital record and help strengthen trust between businesses executing trade agreements. We.trade aims to create a trusted network between European banks ' SME customers. Services include bank payment guarantees and invoice financing for which banks are paying a fee.

Launched in mid-2018, we.trade is ahead of competitors like Marco Polo, a TradeIX and R3-backed trade finance platform that is still in pilot stage. The platform we.trade is now all about business growth, with a two-pronged approach: bringing more banks and more SMEs on board.

HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, Santander, UniCredit, Nordea, KBC Bank, and Rabobank already use we.trade to settle trade contracts.

The platform's rates for trading range from $2,000 a month (for interested early users) to $175,000 full annual membership license. Trialing a project on We.trade costs $75,000 annually.

Up until now, the shareholder banks had paid $330,000 per annum. From talking to other banks, we got a clear message this is too expensive. So we listened.
— Ciaran McGowan, General Manager, we.trade

IBM has developed the we.trade project on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain open-source system, but McGowan is planning to bring in the tech work in-house.

“We are a technology company and we want to build our own capability,” he added. “We have a very good working relationship with IBM and they understand that we can’t continually pay for an outsourced team.”

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