VerifyUnion, ASB Bank Partner On Blockchain Platform For Exportersbr>
Founded in 2017, VerifyUnion provides total ownership of the data that is stored, from the network through to the customer (end user), while protecting user privacy and securing documents and identity. Its first product was a decentralized digital identification and verification platform on blockchain. The company expanded its product range to supply chain management in June of this year to showcase the benefit of its products used alongside a supply chain management system.
ASB is a bank owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, operating in New Zealand. It provides a range of financial services including retail, business and rural banking, funds management, as well as insurance through its Sovereign Limited subsidiary, and investment and securities services. It also operates BankDirect, a branchless banking service that provides service via phone, Internet, EFTPOS and ATMs only.
The two companies have developed a digitized, automated trade process and documentation platform to help exporters conduct business, ensure data integrity, and remove fraud risk. Based on blockchain, the platform offers a “single trade window,” which means all documents including certificates of origin, government approvals, traceability information and other key documents can be exchanged via a single platform.
“Currently the documentation process for exporting takes around 8 days because physical papers have to be couriered back and forth between bank and client,” said VerifyUnion CEO AJ Smith. “It also means we have to trust that the physical documents haven’t been tampered with.”
The platform has been piloted by Kiwi meat exporter Greenlea and successfully completed New Zealand’s first blockchain export trade. The pilot also involved the Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Primary Industries, the New Zealand Meat Board and insurance companies, including Vero, document processing company Prodoc, as well as local and international banks.
The pilot shadowed a live trade from Greenlea to their large Korean importer. The platform was able to digitally transfer documentation and cash within one hour – compared to the two to four days it would take to process using traditional systems.
Jack Vollebregt, Greenlea chief financial officer, said that the platform will help them reduce the documentation timeframe for New Zealand exporters and mitigate risks such as cybersecurity threats and fraud.
“We’re exporting to 40 different countries and being able to use the ASB blockchain platform removes the weak spots and ensures the integrity of the data,” said Vollebregt. “We also especially like the instant translation capability which will limit any misunderstandings or human error that can come from dealing with businesses based in different countries and time zones.”
Greg Beehre, ASB Bank general manager of global transaction banking, said that ASB is committed to using blockchain to improve the trade process for its customers.
“ASB is helping ensure New Zealand’s export industry remains competitive through offering single trade window with enhanced cyber security, traceability across the whole supply chain ecosystem, and decreasing the time involved in doing international trades,” said Beehre. “It’s a pretty proud day for us. Plus, it offers traceability and is scalable across the whole supply chain ecosystem giving all partners in the process a competitive advantage. That was really important to us here at ASB.”