Saudi Arabian, Saudi British Bank (SABB) is utilizing Contour Blockchain platform to enhance trade finance by improving letter of credit and guarantee procedures for enterprises and international businesses. SABB is working with local fintech entity Bwatech.

SABB is now the first bank in KSA to provide the ability to exchange commercial documents digitally, facilitate the procedures for letters of credit using a decentralized technology, and reduce dependency on paper documents and the time required for document settlement in commercial transactions. 

The Blockchain enabled Contour platform improves transaction security because the data that is shared on the network enjoys a high degree of protection and privacy, which reduces the risk of fraud.

The Bwatech platform boosts the automation of bank guarantees. This service aims to replace paper-based procedures with advanced technical methods by linking banks issuing these guarantees with their beneficiaries to expedite the implementation of the issuance and subsequent procedures.

Yasser Al-Barrak, SABB’s CEO of Corporate and Institutional Banking states, “We are extremely proud of the key role that SABB plays in the expansion and development of global trade, while contributing to our Kingdom’s economic and commercial development under Vision 2030. We are committed to make further progress in executing the bank’s digital transformation plans, in this instance to remove obstacles in Trade Finance, improve national trade flows and accelerate the pace of trade for companies operating in the Kingdom. To achieve this SABB is happy to leverage the latest technologies such as blockchain and is flexible enough to work with leading Fintechs. This will contribute to Vision 2030 goals to make the Kingdom a regional trade hub.”

SABB was the first bank in the KSA to complete an international trade transaction via Blockchain technology.

Contour blockchain has been working with various sectors across MENA to improve trade finance.

In early 2022 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Egypt’s QNB AlAhli bank have facilitating three test letters of credit on the digital trade finance network Contour utilizing Blockchain enabled CargoX platform. The trial took place with QNB ALAHLI bank one of Egypt’s largest commercial banks, acting as issuing bank and the Blockchain enabled CargoX Platform used for electronic presentation of documents.

In September 2022 HSBC has executed a blockchain-enabled, trade finance transaction between Chinese car manufacturer SAIC Motor and the Taajeer Group, Saudi Arabia’s exclusive agent for MG cars. The transaction was conducted on the Contour platform and became the region’s first for the automotive sector.

Singapore based Contour blockchain launched in 2020  after a series of ground-breaking live pilots in 14 countries and a global trial with more than 50 banks and corporates, which reduced processing times for Letters of Credit by over 90%, from 5-10 days to under 24 hours for an industry of USD 18 trillion.