A. General Information

1. Title

HSBC - Contour Blockchain Platform

2. Implementation period of the project/service:
4. Geographical coverage
Global: Europe, Asia and the Pacific, North America, Latin America, Africa
Participating countries: Angola, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Viet Nam
Hub Point: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
5. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
Other participating agencies/entities
Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, Citi, CTBC Holding, ING, SEB, Standard Chartered, Bain Consulting, CrytpoBLK, and R3.
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, Citi, CTBC Holding, ING, SEB, Standard Chartered, Bain Consulting, CrytpoBLK, and R3.
6. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the service
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
Other Government Agencies (OGAs)
7. Business process category of the service
Commercial Transactions

B. Lessons Learned

8. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

Contour’s objective is to provide a single, simplified channel to enable digitization of the trade finance process, from issuance of Letters of Credit through to the exchange of documents.

b. Business need for the service (background)

Trade finance has entered a new era with the digitalization of trade. And HSBC is using blockchain technology to make trade finance simpler, better and faster.

c. Business process covered*

The blockchain Letter-of-Credit flow mirrors the existing letter of credit process (agreeing letter of credit terms, application, issuance, advising, amendment request and its approval, document presentation, discrepancy resolution, and bill settlement instructions). A single blockchain platform is used by all participants. eBL capabilities are integrated into the application, giving parties the option to transfer the eBL digitally through the platform in near real-time.

d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

Contour links together banks and corporates on a decentralized network for paperless trade and trade finance. Additionally, the platform open Application Programming Interface (API) is linked with an ever-growing number of partners like essDocs for electronic bills of lading (eBLs), Chinsay for contracts management and Tradecloud for B2B trades.

e. Relevant document/figure
9. Documents and data exchanged via the service

They are focusing on one of the most paper intensive processes – Letters of Credit (LC).

10. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches
11. Main challenges faced during the service
12. Lessons learned from the service
13. Main benefit(s) of the service
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Cost savings*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
Increased trade flow
13A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained

Using blockchain technology, the Contour platform tracks and traces information as it moves between parties. It keeps all players in sync, reducing the need for reconciliation and speeding up your transactions, whilst providing you with end-to-end visibility. In the above transactions, this technology helped reduce the time taken for exchanging and checking documents, from the typical five to ten days to less than 24 hours.

14. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance
15. Future plan for expansion of the service
16. Other information or relevant references on the service
17. Relevant document regarding the service

C. Relevant Standards

19. Electronic message standard
19A. Electronic message standard supporting the service
19B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the service
20. Technical communication standard
20A. Technical communication standard supporting the service
20B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the service
21. Security-related standards*
21A. Security-related standard supporting the service
21B. Type of security-related standard applied for the service
22. Other Technical Information
22A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
22B. Other technical implementation information