Ant Group partners with banks to roll out blockchain-based cross-border trade platform

September 25, 2020.

on Friday unveiled a new cross-border trade finance platform powered by its Blockchain-based unit in partnership with major global banks as the Chinese fintech readies for its blockbuster initial public offering.

The company described the new service, which it calls Trusple, as “an international trade and financial service platform” and emphasized the product’s availability to financial institutions, along with small and mid-sized businesses.

Ant Group said that Trusple will lower businesses’ international sales costs, as well as those of financial institutions. The fintech asserts that the savings the platform nets for banks will help them better serve business customers. 

The fintech noted that it has teamed up with various banks for the service, including Standard Chartered Bank, , BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Bank.

Ant Group said that Trusple will streamline order processes for companies.

“Based on the concept of ‘Trust Made Simple,’ Trusple works by generating a smart contract once a buyer and a seller upload a trading order on the platform,” the fintech said. “As the order is executed, the smart contract is automatically updated with key information, such as order placements, logistics, and tax refund options.” 

When an order is placed, the buyer’s and seller’s banks will automatically process the payment settlements via AntChain through the smart contract. 

“This automated process not only mitigates the intensive and time-consuming processes that banks traditionally conduct to track and verify trading orders, but also ensures information is tamper-proof,” the company said

The company added that the service will also help businesses with financial access, stating, “Further, successful transactions on Trusple enable SMEs to build their creditworthiness on AntChain, making it easier for them to obtain financing services from financial institutions.”

Ant Group claims that Trusple will improve trust among transaction parties, which it said currently presents a problem. Guofei Jiang, the president of Ant Group’s Advanced Technology Business Group, compared the new service to the establishment of its business, noting that both have been intended to address trust.

“Just like when Alipay was introduced in 2004 as the online escrow payment solution to build trust between buyers and sellers, with the launch of AntChain-powered Trusple, we look forward to making cross-border trading safer, more reliable, and more efficient for buyers and sellers, as well as for the financial institutions that serve them,” Jiang said in a statement.

Ant Group’s rollout of Trusple comes as the company proceeds toward launching its blockbuster IPO, which involves plans to list shares on both the Shanghai STAR Market and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The fintech received approval for its Shanghai listing last week.

Financial details disclosed as part of the IPO process in August show that Ant Group’s non-payments divisions have collectively overtaken its payments segment by revenue share; Ant Chain, however, is part of the fintech’s innovation segment, which is its smallest due to accounting for less than 1% of revenue over multiple periods.