Prudential, StarHub to Create Blockchain Trade Platform for SMEsbr>
Life insurance company Prudential Singapore has teamed with StarHub, one of the major telcos in the Singapore, to create a blockchain-based digital trade platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Called Fasttrack Trade (FTT), the platform allows SMEs to find business distributors, buy and sell goods, track shipments, receive and make payments, and access finance products on a single platform. FTT is being developed by FinTech startup Cites Gestion with funding from Prudential.
FTT will use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to establish trust among SMEs through the sharing of a common audit trail between counterparties on the platform.
The platform will also utilize StarHub’s enterprise customers access and Prudential’s insurance system to help mitigate business risks. FTT will provide alternative financing options to SMEs through peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Societies.
The companies are expecting more service providers to join FTT upon its commercial launch next year. Prudential and StarHub also plan to create a StarHub-powered digital B2B marketplace, which will bring together a network of service providers across multiple industries to support the business expansion of SMEs.
Stephanie Simonnet, chief partnerships distribution officer at Prudential Singapore, said that this insurer-telco-FinTech collaboration is the first of its kind in Singapore. She said this partnership will open up opportunities for all parties to reach a wider customer base with innovative business solutions, and to share expertise.
“We are creating a digital ecosystem based on cross-industry collaboration that will transform commerce and drive the growth of enterprises,” said Simonnet. “Convenient and affordable access to non-traditional sources of funding and to protection will help smaller businesses fulfil their growth ambitions and manage risk,”
Dr Chong Yoke Sin, chief of StarHub enterprise business group, said that it is important for SMEs to capitalize on digital technologies and leverage their capabilities to succeed in today’s digital economy.