The blockchain-based open industry platform formerly known as Voltron has been renamed Contour and has declared itself a fully commercial company based in Singapore.

Contour will initially focus on digitally creating, exchanging, approving and issuing letters of credit (L/Cs).

Successful pilots

Live pilots of the platform developed by what is now known as Contour have been successful in 14 countries while a global trial involving more than 50 banks and trading parties showed it was possible to reduced L/C processing times from five to 10 days to under 24 hours.

Mining giant Rio Tinto and trader Cargill, supported by HSBC Singapore and BNP Paribas, have successfully completed the first fully integrated paperless letter of credit L/C transaction in iron ore (DC World News, 1 November 2019).

StanChart investment

Standard Chartered announced it had made an investment in Contour following the full commercialisation of its offering and appointment of chief executive officer, Carl Wegner.

As one of the founding members, StanChart says it will continue to collaborate with Contour, bringing its expertise and digital capabilities to deliver a faster and frictionless experience for clients accessing trade finance.

Benefits and plans

By digitising the end-to-end process from the issuance of L/Cs to confirmation and documentation presentation, all trade participants can view real time updates on the progress of their transaction.

The results of two live pilots with large clients in the petrochemicals industry conducted by StanChart in Thailand and Singapore demonstrated greater transparency, improved cost efficiencies and reduced settlement risks across the supply chain.

In the next phase of development, Contour will look at further expanding its network and relationships to include more banks, technology providers and other established trade finance networks.

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