Although the ongoing pandemic brought significant disruption, it is also having the positive effect of bringing the digitalization agenda to the fore. And as flows of funds between Latin America and the rest of the world are returning to normal levels, the pandemic has precipitated a permanent change by speeding up the adoption of digital payment services, says Dino Sani, Head of Treasury Services for Latin America at BNY Mellon.
“BNY Mellon was already in this journey toward digitalization but COVID-19 accelerated the process,” Sani said. “And there’s a dramatic impact on our business.”
Latin American banks have been quick to embrace Swift’s Global Payment Initiative (GPI), a collaborative project in which participating banks build on an open platform (API) to add speed and transparency to international payments, according to Sani. And although Latin America’s economies to face a difficult year in 2021 as they open slowly, Sani expects an economic recovery to get underway. “We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
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While global trade volumes have been down significantly in 2020, Joon Kim, the Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management at BNY Mellon, sees “a cautious sense of optimism and recovery” by the latter part of the fourth quarter of this year and the beginning of next, at the macro-level.
Arnon Goldstein, Head of Treasury Services for Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon, observed overall decline in payment volumes, underlining weakness in clients’ demand, but an increase in liquidity, especially in local currency and dollar liquidity as lending demand has been depressed. However, any rebound in volume will be uneven as some economies continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The disruption to traditional supply chains and logistics has precipitated the need to strengthen business continuity planning to increase institutions operational resiliency and ability to operate remotely. Processes have to be streamlined and enhanced to incorporate alternative digital solutions, such as e-signature and biometric-enabled authentication and authorisation, to replace traditional manual ones. The bank is pivoting to digital alternatives, such as web-based meeting, and digitising more of its internal as well as clients’ processes in order to facilitate client transactions and increase efficiency.
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Commerzbank has published the latest edition of FI.News, the bank’s newsletter for financial institutions. Featuring various in-depth articles and interviews, the biannual newsletter collects Commerzbank’s latest insights on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for financial services in today’s transformational times.
Financial institutions are understandably operating in challenging circumstances. Yet this edition of FI.News keeps its gaze firmly ahead – exploring the ways that the current situation could be a catalyst for change in a number of areas, including digitalisation, trade finance, African trade and sustainable finance. The newsletter also provides latest news stories and internal updates from the Commerzbank Institutionals division.
Moorgate has produced FI.News since 2013. The latest edition may be found here.
As a result of the global lock-down, almost every aspect of trade – from value chains and logistics networks, to pending and production – has faced a series of profound challenges. With the grip of the situation still being felt the world over, what is being done to optimise the flow of trade finance transactions? In an article for TRF News, BNY Mellon’s Joon Kim, Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management, explains.
For one, there has been a significant shift in attitudes towards the digitalisation of trade finance. As a traditionally physical, paper-intensive business, trade finance, when performed from a ‘working from home’ environment, has encountered a number of challenges. And, as it became clear that lockdowns would remain in place for the foreseeable future, the industry reacted swiftly – coming together to adopt a series of digital initiatives.
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The ongoing pandemic has brought significant disruption to trade across all corners of the globe. Responses from countries in the MEA region , including strict social distancing guidelines, work from home requirements and a host of travel restrictions, have had the unfortunate effect of creating a number of logistical obstacles that are now proving a barrier to trade. As a result, the trade finance industry – not known for its ability to swiftly enact change – has had to rapidly adapt to keep trade flowing.
But what changes have banks in the Middle East been making to keep trade flowing? BNY Mellon’s Bana Akkad Azhari, Head of Relationship Management MEA & CIS, and Joon Kim, Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management, explains that in response the the trade finance industry has turned its attention to an array of digital initiatives – a move that is paving the way for a more agile future for global trade.
To read the full article, please click here.
As industries go, trade is not typically known for being nimble. Yet, the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing the hand of those in global trade, and banks are swiftly adapting to ensure they can continue playing their fundamental role in enabling the wheels of trade to turn.
Though there are undoubtedly significant hurdles to overcome in the shorter term, once the world settles, we have the opportunity to harness technology to create a new norm – propelling trade finance into a new era of more efficient, streamlined, value-added transactions.
The article can be found here.
In an article for Documentary Credit World, Olivier Paul, ICC Banking Commission Head of Policy, explains that banks are increasingly embracing supply chain finance solutions and digitalisation of the trade finance sector.
Expanding on findings from the ICC’s 10th Global Survey on Trade Finance, Paul says that the overall outlook for trade finance generally, and supply chain finance specifically, is one of growth and optimism, despite regulatory and compliance concerns.
The full article can be read in the June edition of Documentary Credit World, pages 22-24.
In an article for Treasury Management International, ICC Banking Commission’s Head of Policy Olivier Paul expands on results from the ICC’s 10th Global Survey on Trade Finance.
Findings from the survey, which gathered responses from over 250 banks in 91 countries, revealed that while traditional trade finance provision is on the up, there is now a corresponding growth in SCF. What’s more, most banks are taking steps towards embracing digitalisation, with over 60% of respondents indicating they have implemented or are in the process of implementing technology solutions as part of their trade finance processes.
The full article can be read here.
In an article for The Banker, Mark Evans – member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission Executive Committee and Managing Director, transaction banking, at ANZ – comments on the benefits of blockchain in trade finance.
Evans says that Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) “enables every participant in the chain to be able to see all transactions or touch points in one ‘block’ of information. This provides a high level of visibility and transparency to the progress of the transaction.”
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In a recent article in The Global Treasurer on international regulation reducing banks’ ability to offer trade finance, Tradeteq’s Head of AI, Michael Boguslavsky, argues that artificial intelligence (AI) could help mitigate such issues – particularly for SMEs.
Boguslavsky notes that AI has the capacity to “evaluate and potentially recognise credit quality of a more diverse set of companies than the traditional models”. These traditional models, such as the Altman Z credit scoring model, no longer suffice as they do not consider all of a company’s variables. Boguslavsky emphasises AI’s flexibility, and how using it could open up the trade finance market to non-bank investors, who are not faced with the same rigorous regulations as banks.
To read the full article, click here.