The Ant Group, a Chinese fintech company that belongs to the Alibaba Group, has aunched an international trade and financial services platform powered by its blockchain-based technology solution, the AntChain, to facilitate cross-border sales of products and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to reduce costs for financial institutions serving these companies.
Based on the concept of “Trust Made Simple” and known as Trusple, the platform aims to make trading safer, more reliable and more efficient. It is also helps overcome problems, often due to a lack of trust between buyers and sellers, that can lead to delays in shipments and payments, as well as higher banking costs due to the need to verify the authenticity of orders.
The automated process ensures that information is tamper-proof, the company claims. Successful transactions on the platform also enable SMEs to build their creditworthiness on the AntChain, making it easier to obtain financing from banks, it adds.
On Trusple, a “smart contract” is generated once a buyer and a seller upload the trading platform. As the order is executed, that contract is automatically updated with key information such as order placements, logistics, and tax refund options. By using the AntChain, the buyer’s and seller’s banks will automatically process the payments through the smart contract.
Trusple leverages off key AntChain technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and secure computation. It partnered with international financial institutions like BNP Paribas, Citibank, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank to help optimize cross-border processes.
Ant is planning to list on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges next month. The company is seeking to raise about $35 billion, which would result in the world’s largest initial public offering.