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Finastra and Microsoft Team on Trade Finance


Financial software firm Finastra has launched a trade finance partnership with Microsoft.

The collaboration, announced Wednesday (Sept. 20), combines Finastra’s Trade Innovation offering with a “full microservices architecture” using Microsoft Azure.

“As the expectations of corporate customers evolve, financial institutions need to deliver a seamless and engaging transactional experience across their trade finance and supply chain finance operations in support of open finance,” the companies said in a news release.

The goal is to allow customers to access a “vibrant digital trade ecosystem, supporting the digitalization of the full transaction lifecycle.”

Isabel Fernandez, Finastra’s executive vice president for lending, said the partnership builds on the companies’ joint vision to accelerate the digital transformation of financial services.

“Customers are eager to transform their trade finance and supply chain offerings, and to access the latest innovations, working with partners across the ecosystem,” she said. “Via this agreement, existing and new customers will benefit from increased flexibility to connect, collaborate and adapt to evolving customer needs and new regulations.”

The partnership is part of a wave of announcements in the trade finance space this week, including the Tuesday (Sept. 19) debut of HSBC’s TradePay, a document-free trade finance solution that lets clients instantly draw down trade loans.

And on Monday, (Sept. 18), Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions unveiled a digital asset tool designed to enhance cash management and trade finance capabilities.

Using blockchain and smart contracts, Citi Token Services aims to offer institutional clients “always-on” and programmable financial services, such as cross-border payments, liquidity and automated trade finance solutions.

Also Monday, Bank of America rolled out a platform to assist business clients with digitizing trade finance. The banking giant said its CashPro Supply Chain Solutions tool aims to offer supply chain participants “improved process efficiency and working capital optimization.”

This is Finastra’s second Microsoft-related announcement in the last week. On Sept. 14, the company debuted a “Compliance-as-a-Service” solution for banks, available on Microsoft Azure.

“Finastra Compliance-as-a-Service helps banks take advantage of, and comply with, a range of instant payment infrastructures, including the FedNow® Service in the U.S. and TIPS in Europe, while mitigating the increased risks of financial crime,” the company said in a news release.