On 28 January, blockchain-based trade finance platform Contour, co-founded by ING Ventures, launched into the $18 trillion global trade finance market. Contour was co-created by ING and seven other banks in 2018 to simplify letters of credit, reducing the amount of time needed to process them from five to 10 days to under 24 hours.
The launch follows a series of live pilots in 14 countries and a global trial with more than 50 banks and corporates. Three of these pilots were led by ING with HSBC (Cargill and Tricon) and CTBC Bank. Ninety-six percent of participants said Contour would accelerate their letters of credit process, improve efficiencies and reduce costs.