• Joshua Kroeker, CPO

What Networks do I need to join?

Contour of course, plus maybe a few others

In our last article, we wrote about interoperability at the network and participant levels, and how members will need to join several networks if they want to be interoperable today.

The next challenge is deciding what networks your organisation should be a part of.

The key network categories

We have broken down the key networks into three main categories – post-trade management, financing and logistics – which we believe are the most important for trade digitisation, and all of which are interoperable with Contour.

Interoperability for banks and corporates

Banks and corporate users are both keen to digitise their processes for trade and trade finance, but their participation in these networks will vary.

For corporates, interoperability across the entire value chain may start with just one network category before eventually connecting to all three. This in turn, encourages the network operators to build application functionality across all categories. Corporates will also need to be able to integrate data from these sources into their back office ERP systems. While this is not a small undertaking, it is possible, and is happening today.

In contrast, banks have it slightly easier, as they would only need to join a financing and logistics networks to access a title of goods through an electronic bill of lading. Of course, they will also need the network operators to build applications across both workflows, and integrate the data into their back-office systems.

One vision

Regardless of whether you are a bank or a corporate, achieving interoperability requires a unified standard to be a functional part of trade finance. This is where our mission comes into play. Contour aims to be the global standard for finance, not just for one or two products, but for the entire sector. Our journey may start with transforming and digitising the important letters of credit workflow to seed our network, but this is only the beginning. In time, we aim to enhance all of trade finance with the support of the financing industry itself.

For logistics and trading, Contour is committed to supporting all clients in their journey to transform the entire trade lifecycle. This is why we have spent a tremendous amount of resources collaborating with like-minded partners in both trading and logistics, developing integrations that will benefit members of multiple networks. We have already announced many of these partnerships, and there are more to come.

When it comes to deciding what networks are right for you, it’s best to pick at least one to join, and the others will depend on your individual needs. If you need additional advice, talk to us and we are happy to make an introduction.