Insight & Analysis

Press release: Deutsche Bank and ITFA release Guide to Digital Trade Finance

Published: Jan 2024

11th January 2024 – Deutsche Bank, in association with the International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA), today announced the release of the Guide to Digital Trade Finance. The Guide provides the industry with a comprehensive overview of the emerging technologies, legal frameworks, practices, rules, and standards that are driving digitalisation within trade finance

Press release news paper

The publication comes at a critical point in trade finance’s digitalisation journey, with the adoption of the Electronic Trade Documents Act (ETDA) in the UK acting as a catalyst for renewed action. As momentum builds to take trade finance to the next level – such that trade finance participants can enjoy the operational efficiency benefits seen in the payments landscape – the Guide calls for the industry to foster and sustain collaboration.

“While a bold new future for documentary trade may well be just around the corner, it will only get over the line if the industry works and moves together. This is where industry bodies and utilities such as Swift, ITFA, the ICC and BAFT play a pivotal role, as we report in this Guide,” said Atul Jain, Global Co-Head for Trade Finance and Lending, Deutsche Bank.

The Guide provides a deep dive into the latest trends affecting the digital trade finance space, including comprehensive breakdowns of:

  • How legal reforms are enabling the legal use of electronic transferable records both domestically and across borders;

  • How trade finance actors can navigate the range of digital initiatives being worked on by industry bodies and utilities;

  • The role of emerging technologies, from blockchain and AI to OCR and digital signatures, in digitalising trade finance;

  • Why banks need to play a larger role in digitalisation initiatives, with a focus on ensuring interoperability across the trade ecosystem.

“We are confident that the momentum from the past year across digitalisation, integrating insurance and bringing non-bank investors to the space, will continue to build,” said Sean Edwards, Chairman, ITFA. “We thank Deutsche Bank for their partnership and work on this white paper and believe it will prove a useful educational tool for readers looking to improve their understanding of the overall digital trade finance ecosystem.”

Alongside contributions from Deutsche Bank and ITFA experts, the Guide features insights from Santander Corporate and Investment Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Swift, Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), Sullivan & Worcester, T3i Partner Network, the Trade Advisory Network and Arqit.

The Guide to Digital Trade Finance can be downloaded here.

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