Norwegian bank Nordea is opening its blockchain trading platform to more clients. In a press release dated May 9, the bank announced that it’s offering small and medium-sized businesses the option to utilize its platform we.trade.
The blockchain-backed system will reportedly assist in addressing trust shortfalls present in prevailing cross-border trading is done by SMEs.
Patrick Zekkar, Nordea’s chief of Trade Finance and Working Capital Management, revealed that around 60 percent of SMEs claim that they provide advance payments, which is a clear indication of insecurity around cross-border trade. He said that the situation was unfortunate as it could prevent companies from trading. This will also lead to stunted growth.
By utilizing Nordea’s we.trade platform, clients can pick specific events within a smart contract that will commence steps for the other party to begin payment.
We.trade is a project that involves twelve distinct banks. Aside from Nordea, institutions like the Deutsche Bank, KBC, HSBC, Rabobank, Natixis, Santander, UniCredit, and Societe Generale are also part of the we.trade system.
We.trade was developed on the IBM Blockchain platform. Its first live operations were initiated in June 2018. However, Nordea was already part of the project in 2017 but only had a soft launch for select clients in April 2019.
Nordea is one of the largest private banking institutions in the Nordic region. The company had amassed total equity of more than 32.4 billion euros in 2016, with a net income of around 3.7 billion euros in the same year.
While the company has embraced blockchain, it has remained set against cryptocurrencies. It has gone as far as banning employees from owning bitcoins.