Alfa-Bank becomes the first Russian bank to join the blockchain trade finance platform backed by HSBC. It can encourage other banks too.

Alfa-Bank made an official statement on November 3rd about joining the Contour, which is an international network of trade finance. Contour brings different companies and banks together and establishes a safe, fast, and transparent process. The main point here is the issuance of a letter of credit (LC), which involves many workers and paperwork, and it takes a lot of time to finish the operation. The Contour network reduces the time spent on the issuance of LC up to 90% – from 10 days to 24 hours.

It is a significant improvement in terms of the effectiveness and efficiency of resources. These kinds of behaviors have to be welcomed by any means. It will help the company to utilize the resources more efficiently.

The head of the Alfa-Bank lending directorate, Evgenia Fomina, highlighted the importance of joining Contour:

“The accession to the Contour platform and launch of the pilot projects on the Russian market will fine-tune the strategy of development of products for transborder transactions. Customer requests become more complex, and we always seek to offer the best solutions.”

There is also a comment from the Contour side. Carl Wegner, the CEO of Contour, mentioned the importance of gaining partners from different parts of the globe.

“The significant interest in Contour’s development did not slow ahead of our launch in October. We worked with many interested parties keen to experience the benefits of streamlined processes, improved efficiency, and an overall better ecosystem for trade finance to be conducted. Alfa-Bank marks yet another step forward for Contour, being the first Russia-based bank on our network. Their involvement will continue to build an inclusive network that will improve trade across the globe.”

What Is Contour?

The counter is a trusted network for global trade. It was built on the Corda blockchain platform of R3 Consortium, which Alfa-Bank joined in 2018. Eight financial institutions, HSBC, ING, Citi, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, SEB, and CTBC, are the owners of Contour. Contour uses the power of decentralization to provide tools and resources to help banks and corporates build a global network for trade, without having access to any transactional data or being a single point of failure.

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