Blockchain-based global trade finance platform Batavia on Thursday announced the completion of its first live pilot transactions with corporate clients, including car maker Audi.
Developed by a consortium of five banks working with IBM, the consortium, which is comprised of the Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group and UBS, completed transactions including trading cars from Germany to Spain and textile raw materials for furniture production from Austria to Spain.
In a statement, the consortium said that these transactions mark an important step in establishing Batavia, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, as an open ecosystem, revolutionizing the client experience by digitizing and automating the arranging, securing and financing of international trade transactions.
The pilot transactions used various modes of transport, geographies and trading parties of differeing sizes, in order to highlight Batavia’s ability to scale and manage diverse transaction types.
The system aims to cover the end-to-end process of a trade, encompassing the closing of trade agreements and execution of smart payments, which can be automatically triggered by specified events in the supply chain and recorded in the blockchain.
Other features of Batavia include track and trace and risk management tools, which can be tied to key events in the supply chains and signals from internet of things devices, agreed upon between buyer and seller.
One of the key participants in the pilot, carmaker Audi was able to test shipment of its vehicles from Germany to Spain, using blockchain technology to record the transaction. Audi's Head of Group Treasury, Alexander Dietlmeier, described blockchain as an important future technology for the company:
“In cooperation with Commerzbank, we have processed a worldwide, blockchain-based commercial transaction through the Batavia platform for the first time – efficiently, safely and transparently,” Dietlmeier said in a statement. “This achievement has demonstrated to us, once again, the great potential this innovative application holds. We have gained important experience that will enable us to continuously develop our capabilities in this field, and we will be testing this technology for other use cases in our distribution process.”
The consortium stated that, in building on the successful development of a minimum viable product and the first pilot transactions with clients, the Batavia project is looking to build out a production-ready solution, which may include joining forces with FinTech companies, financial institutions and other innovation leaders in the market.
“It is very important to involve our corporate clients as early as possible in our research and development activities regarding the digitalisation of trade finance. I am very grateful to Audi for their cooperation and their support for our project,” stated Commerzbank’s Niko Giesbert. “Our joint successful live transaction gives an idea of the potential of our platform. The trade data and the smart payment automatically triggered by shipment data build an important basis for risk management and financing tools adding value to every supply chain.”