HKMA, BIS Innovation Lab Seek Solutions in Trade Finance

Private firms are invited to submit innovative solutions that can help enhance trade finance mechanisms, connectivity and infrastructure.

The HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority) and BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Hong Kong have launched a new initiative designed to highlight the potential for new technologies to enhance trade finance mechanisms.

Under the initiative, known as ‘TechChallenge — Digitising Trade Finance’, private firms are invited to submit innovative solutions focusing on:

  • enabling connectivity and interoperability between trade finance platforms to increase their network effects
  • enhancing SME access to trade finance through technology, including tech-driven risk-profiling, trade authenticity verification and fraud risk assessment
  • supporting trade finance functionalities for emerging markets through low-cost or open-sourced technology that leverages common standards

Solutions will be judged by a panel comprising representatives of the public and private sectors, with financial sponsorship available to shortlisted entrants to further develop their solutions.

“The TechChallenge is taking place against the backdrop of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which is impacting global trade volumes and by implication the livelihoods of many SMEs,” said Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Hong Kong.

“This initiative recognises that novel technologies and public-private partnerships can assist in improving outcomes, including through further digitising trade finance.”

The initiative is being launched in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), and the Wolfsberg Group.

“We envisage that the TechChallenge will encourage international collaboration, spur innovation and produce fruitful results that benefit the trade finance industry globally,” said HKMA Senior Executive Director Edmond Lau.

Interested firms can register to review the high-priority problem statements, compete and submit proposals here. The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2020.

The top proposals will be announced and showcased at the Hong Kong Fintech Week in November 2020.

The TechChallenge is administered by the Deloitte Asia Pacific Blockchain Lab.

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