ENBD, DP World Trade Finance, iBind and Enigio Partnered for Corporate Digital Identity in Trade Finance

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Business Wire India

Emirates NBD, in partnership with DP World Trade Finance, Enigio and iBind, has successfully completed the first-ever Proof of Concept (PoC) on Digitally Native Trade documents (hereinafter referred to as “Trade document”) with the application of Trusted Digital Identity. This unique milestone, achieved in collaboration with Enigio and iBind, represents a significant stride in leveraging technology to enhance global trade and financial services.

The joint efforts of the team conducting the PoC, were aimed to address the core issues effecting adoption of digitally native Trade documents. The physical flow of transactional documents used in international trade was re-created using digitally native trade documents.

3 key attributes were identified for facilitating a digitally native document through an existing channel of trade, which are:

a) demonstration of uniqueness/genuineness
b) establishment of ownership and authority
c) ability to be transferred to a new owner

The increasing adoption of UNICTRAL’s Model Law for Electronic Transferrable Records (MLETR) – a technology-neutral open framework, promoting the usage of electronic transferrable documents, has helped in the creation of uniquely identifiable and transferrable digital Trade documents. However, for any trade transaction life cycle, the facilitation of digitally native Trade documents involves different stages where the ownership of the document (identity and authority) needs to be established. Hence, the need of creating ‘Trusted Digital Identities’.

The corporate entities involved in the trade (i.e. – the issuer, the transferrer, or the transferee of an e-Bill of Lading) should be verifiable through a trusted source of identity management. Several frameworks exist today for identity management, e.g. Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) but are not widely accepted. This is primarily because such frameworks serve different purposes and are not designed specifically for a digitally native ecosystem for Trade documents. Hence, the need for implementing a digital identity management framework which is easy to adopt, interoperable and channel agnostic.

The PoC marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of digital trade finance, as it not only validates the digital trade documents such as an e-Bill of Lading, but also verifies and establishes the authority of the corporate entities involved in the end-to-end trade transaction. The solution creates Digital IDs (DID) that act as a public key that can be linked with any digitally native document. Further, the bank plays a critical role in verifying the DID of their existing relationships, relieving the other transacting parties from having to conduct their own KYC or due diligence.

Key Accomplishments of the PoC:

1. Digitally Native Trade Documents: The PoC successfully demonstrates the creation, transmission, and authentication of digitally native trade documents. This advancement significantly streamlines trade processes, reducing reliance on traditional paper documentation.

2. Trusted Digital Identities: Through the collaborative efforts of Enigio, iBind, Emirates NBD and DP World Trade Finance, a robust system for trusted digital identities has been created and implemented, ensuring the security and authenticity of entities involved in trade transactions.

3. Interoperability and Integration: The PoC showcases seamless integration into existing trade workflows, emphasising interoperability with various systems and applications. This ensures a smooth transition for businesses adopting these cutting-edge technologies. 

4. Enhanced Security Measures: The implementation of trusted digital identities contributes to enhanced security measures, reducing the risk of fraud and unauthorised access in the digital trade environment. 

Vishnu Purohit, Group Head of Trade Product Management, Emirates NBD, commented:

“We are thrilled with the success of our PoC for Trusted Digital Identities. This innovative solution has demonstrated its potential to revolutionise digital trade, offering enhanced security, efficiency and trust. It is a pivotal step towards a more seamless and secure trade ecosystem, and we are excited about the possibilities it holds for the future of international trade.

Our joint efforts have not only validated the feasibility of this concept but has also paved the way for future collaborations in revolutionising the landscape of digital trade finance. This successful Proof of Concept underscores our commitment in creating a seamless digital future for global trade.”
Aneel Sabir, Director – Middle East, Enigio, commented:
“This PoC proves how banks, corporates and technology firms can work together to demonstrate innovative thinking to drive speedy and tangible outcomes for all involved. To use trusted data already held by a bank for the benefit of all transacting parties, provides the ability for all parties to validate the data instantly, securely and without the need of a platform.

This is a true example of collaboration between Emirates NBD, DP World Trade Finance, Enigio and iBIND of exploring and executing digital efficiencies in trade finance transactions.”

Sinan Ozcan, Senior Executive Officer and member of the Board, DP World Trade Finance, commented:

“This innovative proof of concept is streamlining financial processes and making it easier to deliver trade finance to the organisations that need it most. Our work with these talented partners matches with our aim of addressing the trade finance gap. By collaborating with partners across the industry, we are bringing trade finance into the modern era and transforming the lending process.”

Sanat Bhat and Santu Maity, Co-Founders of iBind Systems, commented:

“The PoC demonstrates how the Trade gap can be reduced by redefining the cumbersome and opaque processes to traceable and verifiable journeys. The PoC uses iBind’s digital infrastructure for trusted digital identities with digital native Trade documents. The partnership is a strong reference of collaboration between a leading bank, Industry leaders and technology partners – Enigio to enhance the trust and security in the trade while removing the delays and cost inefficiencies.”