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South Africa: Standard Bank Taps Contour Blockchain Finance Network to Issue Letter of Credit

Major South African bank joins the Contour blockchain trade finance network.

Standard Bank Joins Contour Blockchain Alliance

Johannesburg headquartered South African bank Standard Bank is primed to join the Singapore-based Contour blockchain trade finance network.

Notably, Contour leverages the enterprise-grade R3 Corda enterprise blockchain for its digital Letter of Credit network. As of now, the platform is in beta testing mode. However, there are plans to expand offering to standby Letter of Credits and guarantees.

Interestingly, the network claims that digitization would help it improve processing times by as much as 90 percent.

Commenting on the development, Kevin Holmes, Head Trade Product Management, Standard Bank, said:

“With businesses across the world having to adapt to changing work processes, it’s important that international trade is not left behind.”


“Joining Contour has allowed us to expand our offering in collaboration with International Financial Institutions to corporates across the region harnessing Contour’s technology to provide our clients with an enhanced user experience.”

For the uninitiated, Contour was founded seven major banking giants, including Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, SEB, and Standard Chartered. South Africa’s Standard Bank is the fifth additional bank to join since Contour’s inception, following Citi, Vietnam’s HD Bank, DBS Bank, and SMBC.

Additionally, Standard Bank is a member of the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network. Standard Bank stands out from its competition in that it has a varied and global reach in terms of its network and business presence.

For instance, in India, Standard Bank is a participant in the country’s Finacle Trade Connect. Similarly, in China, it has forged an alliance with the largest bank in the world, ICBC.

Banking on Blockchain

Blockchain technology’s immense malleability makes it popular among industries looking to better their processes and cut down on their operational costs, and the banking space is no exception.

As previously reported , one of the largest banks in the world, HSBC, had successfully completed its first distributed ledger technology (DLT) powered letter of credit transaction pegged to the Chinese yuan.

On a recent note, As reported that Standard Chartered bank had successfully executed Bangladesh’s first blockchain trade transaction by issuing a Letter of Credit over the Contour blockchain network.

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