Thursday, Feb 27, 2020
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Standard Chartered invests in Singapore blockchain platform Contour

Standard Chartered Contour
Contour aims at digitalising the letter of credit process

UK-based multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered has announced that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Contour, a Singapore-based blockchain-enabled trade finance platform.

Contour, which is based in Singapore, recently rebranded itself. The company was earlier known as Voltron.

Contour, in which Standard Chartered has recently invested, aims at digitalising the letter of credit process. So far, the company has already carried out tests in 14 countries by collaborating with more than 50 banks and corporates.

Reportedly, Contour managed to reduce the processing times for letters of credit significantly by over 90 percent. While the process earlier took five to 10 days to be completed, it can be done under 24 hours through Contour’s platform.

The company was formed by a consortium led by R3. Other members to have invested in Contour include Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC, HSBC, ING, Standard Chartered and SEB.

Carl Wegner, who serves as R3’s head of Asia, is taking the role of chief executive at Contour. Aaron Seabrook, R3’s director of services, on the other hand, will serve as the COO.

Carl Wegner recently said in a company blog post, “The opportunity cost in trade finance is huge. Trillions of dollars in commodities, products, and services are transacted daily, but the sector is still characterised by slow, duplicative and expensive processes. Contour delivers a network where trusted information is shared in real-time, effectively digitising letters of credit across all users in the transaction.”

According to media reports, Contour will make its product commercially available during the second half of 2020.

Recently, Standard Chartered also invested in Linklogis, a blockchain-based supply chain platform in China.

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