Global bank HSBC is seeking to forge ties with South Korean banks to launch a blockchain platform enabling companies to process and settle their invoices for trade efficiently, according to Korean press reports.HSBC is looking to commercially launch the Voltron platform in a project that began within the R3 blockchain consortium that aims to resolve issues of time-consuming processes and faulty documentation associated with paper-based letters of credit (L/Cs).

Invitation to partner

"I am here this week to reach out to Korean banks to collaborate on this blockchain platform for L/Cs," HSBC's innovation director of blockchain, Joshua Kroeker, told journalists. Speaking at a press conference in the Korean capital, Seoul, he said HSBC is seeking to establish ties with banks that will be committed to sharing the costs of building a successful platform and providing useful and easy applications.

Shared ownershipHSBC said it will not be the owner of the platform, rather, a joint venture or a cooperative will manage and govern it.The global banking giant already has partnerships with seven financial services companies for Voltron. They are Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered.

Pilot stage

Voltron is currently in a pilot stage as the bank expands its alliances with other banks and technology companies.

BNP Paribas and HSBC Singapore last November used Voltron to help complete Singapore's first fully digitised end-to-end L/C transaction between two different companies (DC World News, 23 November 2019).

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.