DBS completes trade financing settlement through the Trade Finance Portal (TFP)

Photo by asawin

DBS Bank has completed the first trade financing settlement through through vCargo Cloud’s CamelONE Trade Finance portal (TFP) – with another two transactions slated to close in early March. The inaugural transaction relates to an SGD 4.8 million letter of credit transaction by homegrown steel wholesaler and supplier, Super Steel Pte Ltd.

As Singapore’s first unified multi-bank portal connected to the Networked Trade Platform (NTP) to aggregate trade financing products, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) like Super Steel are now able to conveniently apply for an array of trade finance solutions through the TFP.

More importantly, by providing a standardized application form, the TFP eliminates the hassle of having to navigate through different banks’ sites, resulting in quicker application times and reduced human errors.

This, in turn, helps enhance efficiency and productivity for both large corporates and SMEs seeking access to trade financing, and for banks to provide the service more efficiently.

In addition, the information and data submitted for other trade purposes on the NTP, such as permit declaration, freight booking and cargo insurance can also be used to supplement corporates’ digital trade applications to banks – maximizing digital data reuse.

Sriram Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank, said, “Trade finance is the lifeblood of commerce but can sometimes be quite manual and complex. By digitalizing trade financing services via a one-stop portal, we are able to provide swift, easy and contact-free financing solutions to help our customers enjoy greater peace of mind when it comes to managing their banking needs.”

“This is especially critical now as prolonged geopolitical tensions and trade frictions, along with Covid-19 concerns, have disrupted global and Asian supply chains, affecting the cash flows of many businesses in Singapore and the region,” he continued.

As part of the bank’s efforts to digitalize trade across all fronts, DBS has also completed its first electronic banker’s guarantee issuance on the newly-launched Singapore Customs Electronic Bank Guarantee Programme (eBG program). The transaction relates to a SGD 49,000 transaction by leading automotive group, Komoco Holdings (Komoco).

Launched on 2 March, the eBG program was developed as part of efforts to enhance the banker’s guarantee lodgement process which tends to be highly manual and time intensive. For example, before the launch of the eBG program, corporates will need to physically deliver the original hard copy of the banker’s guarantee to the Singapore Customs (Customs).

But today, DBS assists corporate customers send their banker’s guarantee directly to the Customs, and concurrently digitally share data from the banker’s guarantee in real-time through the NTP. This helps cut short the banker’s guarantee issuance and submission process to the Customs from an average of three to four working days, to less than 24 hours.

Apart from driving trade digitalization efforts externally, DBS has also looked within the bank to provide inhouse solutions to enhance support for its corporate customers, including services where corporate customers can upload trade documents onto the bank’s corporate banking platform, rather than physically at trade counters or bank branches as in the past.