B2B Payments

Blockchain Makes Headway Into Shipping Logistics

 Document management across supply chains and logistics is getting a boost from blockchain as recent initiatives helps track goods and payments across borders done through several recent announcements of consortiums and open platforms such as Voltron.  In addition, health care payments also are gaining speed and transparency through smart contracts.

Beyond bitcoin and moving toward supply chains, blockchain is finding more adoption for cross-border logistics and document management.          

To that end, a number of ocean carriers, together with terminal operators, said Tuesday (November 6) they had signed a formal letter of intent to draft a memorandum of understanding that would form a consortium. That consortium would in turn create the Global Shipping Business Network, billed as a digital platform based on blockchain.

Among the participants, alphabetically, are carriers CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL and Yang Ming.

The terminal operators include DP World, Hutchison Ports, PSA International, Pte Ltd and Shanghai International Port. The software solutions provider is CargoSmart.

As reported by AmericanShipper.com, the platform looks to “establish a digital baseline” that connects the stakeholders across logistics activities and supply chains. Among a range of functions, the network will foster peer-to-peer networking to share records and other data, and to keep cargo tracked and moving across the supply chain. Among the first applications, according to the site, will be the digitization and organization of dangerous goods documents.

In other initiatives tied to blockchain, Deloitte, the accounting firm, has partnered with identity-management firm Attest to bring blockchain digital ID services to enterprise and government clients. The shared identity will enable firms to process transactions, while government clients are enabled to provide identity services to citizens. The first product, known as Attest Wallet, is a cryptographically-secured identity storage offering for digital versions of government and business IDs. The other solution is Attest Enterprise and is made of two application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow users to verify identities, authorize third parties and provide consent to others to manage their data.   

Cab Morris, co-founder and chief executive officer of Attest, said in a statement that “a government-issued digital identity has the potential to reduce costs and risk for businesses in all industries, while also providing citizens with greater security, privacy and control over personal data.”

Blockchain in Healthcare

Within the healthcare space, and with a blockchain twist, Change Healthcare and TIBCO Software are working together on a smart contract offering that will help automate the claims transaction process through the use of blockchain. Healthcarefinancenews.com reported that “in essence, claims process themselves. Self executing business rules that payers embed on a blockchain trigger automatically based on events in a transaction.”

The collaboration, said the site, ties Change’s Intelligent Healthcare Network and the TIBCO smart contract developer project called Project Dovetail. The site reported that Project Dovetail is “slated to become publicly available in the near future” and said that providers benefit from a boost in revenue-cycle performance in tandem with faster resolution of claims and remittance, in part by eliminating manual processes and coding issues. The Change Healthcare Intelligent Healthcare Network reaches approximately 2,100 government and commercial payer connections, according to the site, processing nearly 14 billion healthcare transactions in the latest fiscal year that ended in March, representing $2 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures.

Trade Finance, Too

From Hong Kong, news came late last month that, per Bain and Co., the Voltron initiative has launched. The open platform is geared toward documentary trade. Founding members, in addition to Bain, include Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered. Voltron’s initial aim is to use blockchain technology to bring significant efficiencies to transacting letters of credit.

Bain said on its site that “corporate customers will be able to connect with their banks and trading partners via a single, simplified channel, for both issuance of letters of credit and presentation/exchange of documents across an open network. In addition, trade documents produced on external networks by a corporate’s supply chain partners can be digitally sent, verified and processed in Voltron” and that bill of lading functionality is included at launch.


New PYMNTS Report: The CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments – August 2020 

The CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments, a PYMNTS and Comdata collaboration, examines how companies are updating their AP approaches to protect their cash flows, support their vendors and enable their financial departments to operate remotely.