Global payment transactions have traditionally been seen as costly and time consuming, yet disruptive technologies now provide instant, safe and secure alternatives. Graham Bright, Head of Compliance at Euro Exim Bank gives us a fascinating insight into innovative industry developments.
Founded in 2015, Euro Exim Bank is an innovative global financial institution headquartered in St Lucia, West Indies, with a strong representative office in London. The organisation serves both corporate clients and import businesses through its ‘Class A’ international banking licence, which enables it to conduct business with third parties across industries and geographies. Other offices are scheduled to open in Singapore, Chennai and Dubai in 2020.
The implementation of efficient and timely authenticated trade finance services and instructions plays a strategic role in today’s rapidly growing international trading environments.
Euro Exim Bank are market specialists, providing a range of trade finance services – Letters of Credit, Express Letters of Credit, Standby Letters of Credit, Bank Guarantees, etc – and in conjunction with its corporate banking saving accounts, pre-paid master cards and payment platform, this dynamic, forward thinking financial organisation offers an exciting array of trading facilities to SMEs, specifically designed to connect corporates to a wealth of new global trading opportunities.
Here, Graham Bright, Head of Compliance & Operations at Euro Exim Bank, gives an insight into the role of this forward-thinking financial institution and international trade facilitator and how new technology assists in revolutionising the challenging world of cross border trading.
Trade financing and the process of transferring money across the world involves a range of contributing elements – protocols, licences, anti-fraud and money laundering measures, etc. Can you tell us how technology has improved efficiency within this industry and Euro Exim Bank’s function within this landscape?
Technology innovation has enabled the banking industry to adapt to changing markets, efficiently adhere to legislative and regulatory obligations as well as responding to the growing demands of reliability, speed and security. The global payments industry is anticipated to be valued at approximately £2 trillion by next year, and with it the cross-border payments market is expected to increase by 75% by 2025. The complex challenges associated with this volume and growth would be overwhelming if not tackled via fast, easy to use, transparent, trading technology. Euro Exim Bank differs from traditional banks involved in funds, payments, securities or travellers cheques, by its concentration on trade finance and partnership with Ripple – the digital, real time payment system enabling money to be transferred globally through advanced blockchain technology. Transactions are settled within fractions of a second, eliminating the traditional need for money to be held in foreign accounts, providing clients with a frictionless, financial trading experience.
Would it be accurate to describe this partnership with its advanced technology as the dawning of a new financial era?
It’s certainly a unique experience for Euro Exim Bank as the world’s first regulated bank to adopt Ripple’s ODL, an on-demand liquidity solution for cross border money remittance, and xCurrent, a payment processing solution. We’re delighted to partner with Ripple as an ongoing collaboration exploring and unlocking the undoubted advantages for our customers in terms of speed, reach, reliability, cost reduction and security. It remains to be seen how fast other financial institutions will follow our lead in implementing Ripple’s blockchain enabled solutions, but it’s clear that such disruptive technologies will continue to have a dramatic positive effect on the cross-border trading environment.
Bitcoin and Ethereum have dominated the cryptocurrency headlines, but obviously Ripple is rather more complicated in its structure. Can you briefly explain how it differs from these two players, how it works in the payments space and its benefits to your clients?
The major difference is that Ripple is an established network and technology company, and the owner and custodian of the XRP cryptocurrency. This provides a digital asset, payment network and protocol complementing SWIFT, the traditional money transfer system deployed by banks and financial institutions. Ripple offers an innovative accessible platform supporting unserved markets and facilitating payments in often complex, costly markets.
RippleNet, the blockchain network operated by Ripple, is designed to facilitate fast, convenient transactions through a unique mechanism of network servers as opposed to traditional blockchain methods where users search for tokens. From a user perspective, Ripple’s key differentiators are its speed, low cost and security aspects. Gone are the days of transactions taking days to settle; Ripple’s technology with its inbuilt vetting capacity detects and weeds out dubious transactions and facilitates instant verification, thus bringing convenient new opportunities and processing efficiency for moving money across borders.
Faster and more reliable money transfers are just the beginning. Its decentralised mechanism while eliminating the need for other authorities to direct the transaction journey, makes Ripple the blockchain network of choice for us, and we firmly believe that it will open banking doors to many who currently rely on cash to buy goods and services. It’s potential is powerful. As an organisation, Ripple’s financial value gives it a firm trading advantage revolutionising the money transfer and foreign exchange sectors, disrupting traditional transaction methods, supporting and promoting greater financial inclusion.
What’s next for Euro Exim Bank in terms of borderless trade?
Trade finance remains a complex, paper-based business generally with restrictive, costly and time-consuming barriers to entry for smaller buyers. As new markets and manufacturing industries emerge, reliable dedicated technology is enabling easier creation and movement of digitised documents with lower handling costs, standards, and interoperability.
Our IT development teams at Euro Exim Bank have incorporated blockchain capabilities for document verification, immutability and digitisation – not only for initial drafts and remittances, but handling real time settlements via connectivity across multiple payment channels.
Customer expectation drives demand and we envisage blockchain enabled technology will become commonplace in trade finance, firstly addressing the bureaucratic and burdensome issues of data integrity in identity assurance, security and compliance. Euro Exim Bank appreciates the impact of this technology and will continue to automate and improve our platform capabilities – creating sophisticated mobile apps and building a crypto exchange – all to enhance customer experience.
A new decade is upon us and our trading environment will continue to evolve as 2020 and beyond undoubtedly heralds exciting opportunities. As major banks continue aggressive de-risking policy which is disadvantaging many smaller companies and hindering international trade, the trend towards digital will strengthen, greater use of artificial intelligence will be used to identity, mitigate and reduce risk and costs, and the provision of appropriate and relevant financial services for expanding African and Asia Pacific markets will be key. Underpinned by blockchain technology we see growth, a more competition, new sources of supply forced by US-China sanctions, and abundant opportunities. By listening and responding to the needs and demands of our clients, we, at Euro Exim Bank are well positioned and fully intend to play a pivotal role within the future banking and financial trading space.
Further details on products and services offered by Euro Exim Bank, together with comprehensive information regarding developments in borderless trade, its partnership with Ripple’s blockchain technology and how this accelerates trading opportunities can be found at www.euroeximbank.com