HSBC revealed a partnership with Tradeshift, a B2B eCommerce and supply chain management platform, in a move some reports said reflects banks’ newfound willingness to collaborate with FinTechs.
An announcement Thursday (March 30) said HSBC and Tradeshift will work together to develop a platform for corporate customers of the bank. The portal will digitize the supply chain process, which, the companies said, is traditionally laden with paper from invoices and other documents.
“We support customers right through the trade cycle and globally process $1 million of trade a minute,” said Vivek Ramachandran, global head of propositions, global trade and receivables finance at HSBC, in a statement. “The ability to provide value-added services to the entire supply chain, combined with our capacity to provide finance across the breadth and depth of HSBC’s global network, creates a unique proposition. The collaboration will also enable our customers to provide competitively priced funding to their eligible suppliers.”
The platform will launch in July of this year, the executive added, with further plans by HSBC to expand its working capital offerings via the platform in 2018.
News of its collaboration with HSBC comes in the same week Tradeshift debuted Ada, its virtual assistant and the result of significant focus on artificial intelligence as the company looks to help buyers, suppliers and other players across global supply chains communicate and transact.
Meanwhile, HSBC is exploring digitization in other ways. Earlier this year Chris Larsen, former CEO of blockchain FinTech company Ripple, announced he would join HSBC to help in its focus on cybersecurity and FinTech innovation by joining the bank’s Technology Advisory Board. HSBC is part of the R3 blockchain consortium, a group of financial services players exploring how to deploy blockchain in various use cases. Many proponents of the technology said they see potential for the tool to disrupt the supply chain, whether by facilitating cross-border B2B payments or digitizing trade documents.