With solutions such as we.trade revolutionising supply-chain interactions, while others, such as Project Wilson, connect correspondent banks to facilitate working capital financing, Simone Del Guerra of UniCredit discusses the shifting landscape of correspondent banking and the possibility of combining corporate-to-corporate and bank-to-bank platforms to create a network of networks.
Correspondent banking is evolving. Once predominantly a payments network, it is now developing into a ‘relationships network’ – with banks looking to facilitate seamless interactions between clients by connecting them on purpose-built digital platforms. Corporate-to-corporate trading platform we.trade is already live and improving the way businesses trade with one another, and there is potential to take this further by combining we.trade with a bank-to-bank initiative, such as Project Wilson – enriching interactions between buyers and suppliers through proactive support from a broad network of banks. This could offer the best of both worlds. Corporates would achieve greater transparency when it comes to securing contracts, while banks would have the opportunity to introduce value-added services throughout the transaction process.
Streamlining interactions through we.trade
Already providing an upgrade in trade finance, we.trade is an innovative digital platform, enabling two corporate entities to transact and close the clauses of a contract via secure blockchain-based technology. Indeed, we.trade is initially dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), since large multinational corporates already have a full structured purchasing organisation, based on their contacts. However, in the SME-to-SME world, a lot of inefficiency can be generated via the exchange of numerous emails or messages over other channels. On we.trade, clients can communicate with each other and have all correspondence formalised and validated under one fully-digital platform.
Through the we.trade portal, banks can advise and provide various financial solutions to support their clients. This is an opportunity for them not only to deliver a quality service, but also to upsell, with services such as pre-export finance, invoice discounting or working capital finance. Indeed, as more and more corporates join we.trade, the correspondent banking space shifts, from a network of payments to a global network of commercial interactions.