ICICI Bank’s Blockchain Trade Finance Platform On-Boards Over 250 Corporates

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, has on-boarded more than 250 corporate customers to its custom-developed blockchain platform for domestic and international trade finance.

In 2016, ICICI Bank partnered with UAE-based banking group Emirates NBD and successfully executed pilot transactions in international trade finance and remittance using blockchain technology. The pilot was executed using the Infosys solution, EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework.

Since then, over 250 corporates, including ones from the ‘S&P BSE 100 Index’, have signed up for the bank’s blockchain platform. The companies have undertaken trade finance transactions of various types through the blockchain platform for trade finance. These include cross-border remittance for salary payment to employees of a group company of an organization, domestic vendor payments in another city and payments for raw materials to a domestic channel partner.

The blockchain platform digitizes the paper-intensive international trade finance process as an electronic, distributed and unalterable ledger. It gives the participating entities, including banks, the ability to access a single source of information. It enables all the parties – buyers and sellers across domestic and international location – to view the data in real time. The platform allows each participant to check online the status of the application and transmission of original trade documents through a secure network.

“We were the first in the country and among few globally to pioneer cross-border open account trade finance and remittance transactions on blockchain,” said Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank. “I am delighted to share that we have scaled up the operations to sign over 250 corporates on our blockchain solution for trade transactions, the maximum for any blockchain solution in the country. I envision that the emerging technology of blockchain holds an immense potential to simplify the document-intensive trade transactions by bringing all stakeholders on a single platform.”

ICICI Bank is one of the members of BankChain, a platform for banks for exploring, building and implementing blockchain solutions. ICICI said BankChain members are working together create another blockchain based system for trade finance to expand the blockchain ecosystem.

“To harness the full potential of the technology, this consortium seeks to invite trade finance participants, including buyers, sellers, logistics partners, insurance companies and other authorities, on to a co-operatively-owned and developed blockchain platform for an industry-wide end-to-end digitized trade solution,” the bank said.

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