Contour

Corda Enterprise Company: Contour

Contour started life as a co-operative with eight banks and R3 in 2017 with the vision of delivering a global blockchain-based network and application to digitize the $53 billion trade finance market. Entering live production in October 2020, Contour counts ING, Citi, CTBC, Standard Chartered, RBS, SEB, BNP Paribas, HSBC, and Bangkok Bank among its members and has been used by over 80 banks and corporates in trials involving the simulation of multiple digital Letter of Credit (LC) transactions across 27 countries on six continents.

  • Contour’s move into live production in October 2020 positions the firm to become a major player in the trade finance market that is projected to reach $79 billion by 2026.
  • The Contour network has a major part to play in facilitating industry growth with an efficient, modern and suitable alternative to the existing duplicative and laborious trade finance processes.

Pain Point

Traditional trade finance, and in particular LCs, have been the focus of digitization initiatives for many years. Despite strong standards, the inefficiencies of paper-based processes along the multiple phases of trade transactions impact cost, complexity and turnaround times. These issues result in reduced margins for traditional bank LC business and tough competition for client business from other working capital solutions.

Solution

The original banks chose R3’s Corda Enterprise to address the privacy, security, and throughput demands of trade finance networks. The Contour application has been built by software development house CryptoBLK on the Corda platform.

Blockchain is a key technology we are exploring and using with our own customers and, now, using for ourselves with the completion of this transfer on Corda. Simply put, we took a highly manual, complex transaction and made it more secure and efficient.

Rani Misra (Cargill, Regional Tresurer, APAC • Contour)

Outcome

In October 2020, Contour entered live production, uniting buyers, suppliers, and banks on the world’s first global, decentralized, digital trade finance platform. This is following 14 public live pilots in 14 countries beginning in May 2018. From these pilots, Contour has proven to reduce end-to-end processing time for LC’s by 90% or more, simplifying the process for all participants and enabling new business opportunities for banks, corporates, and trade ecosystem players.