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ASB invests in supply chain tech firm TradeWindow

ASB invests in supply chain tech firm TradeWindow

TradeWindow CEO AJ Smith says the company is one of the first Kiwi tech firms to receive direct funding from a New Zealand bank.

Credit: ID 139821444 © Allies Interactive Services Private Limited

By digitising the trade process, businesses will be able to operate more efficiently with trust and security across the globe

Nigel Annett, ASB

TradeWindow says the investment from ASB will fast-track development of its distributed ledger technology (DLT) trade platform.

“The decision by ASB to invest in TradeWindow is a great vote of confidence,” says TradeWindow Founder and CEO, AJ Smith.

Smith notes that TradeWindow is one of the first Kiwi technology companies to receive direct funding from a New Zealand bank.

“The bank is committed to accelerating the progress of New Zealand’s trade environment using new technology and recognises the potential our product has to streamline trading between Kiwi exporters and the rest of the world,” says Smith, in a statement. 

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Nigel Annett, executive general manager of corporate banking at ASB, will join the board of TradeWindow.

“What began as collaboration through ASB’s innovation programme to solve a customer problem, is now a fully-fledged business ready to launch,” says Annett. 

“TradeWindow has the potential to truly transform the way our customers experience the international trade process. By digitising the trade process, businesses will be able to operate more efficiently with trust and security across the globe.” 

Last year ASB piloted the TradeWindow platform, through trade between a Korean importer and a major Kiwi meat exporter, Greenlea Premier Meats. 

TradeWindow uses DLT to create a ‘single trading window’ accessible by all parties involved in the transaction from the importer to the exporter. 

It significantly reduces the risk of fraud and cybersecurity threats as edits can only be made with the consensus of the majority of the network.

However, Smith says the primary benefit where immediate cost savings and efficiencies are realised is the “instantaneous sharing of documentation that is currently couriered at significant cost between the various parties, including exporters, importers, banks, certifiers, and insurance companies”.

Credit: TradeWindow

ASB recognises the potential our product has to streamline trading between Kiwi exporters and the rest of the world

AJ Smith, TradeWindow

With 12,000 registered exporters in New Zealand, this represents a major market opportunity, he says.

TradeWindow allows all relevant documents – from certificates to invoices – to be exchanged digitally “using one touchpoint”.  

“With cybersecurity threats on the rise, many exporters are looking to futureproof their trading procedures. By using TradeWindow, exporters can prevent revenue loss from criminal activity and provide increased traceability through the supply chain.” 

Smith says TradeWindow has also secured key exclusive partnerships with two other New Zealand export-related companies, Prodoc and a division of IVS (Independent Verification Services). It is currently finalising agreements to acquire these companies.

It also has several pilot projects planned and underway with other Kiwi exporters in different sectors, including one with Fiordland Lobster Company, New Zealand’s largest lobster exporter.

Prodoc is an export documentation compliance company that creates digital documentation for over 60 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. IVS assists New Zealand exporters in the forestry, timber and horticultural industries with product certifications and quality assurance.

With cybersecurity threats on the rise, many exporters are looking to futureproof their trading procedures. By using TradeWindow, exporters can prevent revenue loss from criminal activity and provide increased traceability through the supply chain

“The addition of these companies’ services within the TradeWindow ecosystem will create significant synergies in verification and documentation compliance for Kiwi producers, and significantly simplify the export process,” says Smith. 

Steve Cox,  director at Prodoc, believes TradeWindow will become the go-to platform for exporters who need to meet critical deadlines. “It will offer competitive advantage by improving turnaround times and lift customer service levels for demanding export partners.” 

Smith says the bank funding and a recent Callaghan Innovation grant will further the research and development of TradeWindow, helping ready the platform for commercialisation.

He says the first commercial version of the product will be released shortly.

Credit: FintechNZ

This deal is a good example of securing New Zealand as an exporter of choice in that all goods and services can now be validated

James Brown, FintechNZ

FintechNZ general manager James Brown says this deal is a great example of a fintech and an incumbent coming together to solve a major problem. 

“There were actually two problems. One is that it is perceived in the market that our companies and fintechs (banks) are not playing nicely. That’s not the case here and it is a great outcome,” Brown says. 

“Secondly, Trade Window has resolved an old and redundant model, making things easier, more secure and less expensive for everyone. 

This partnership will help New Zealand export more quickly and more safely. People will feel more secure in the knowledge that the products or services are reflective of what has been ordered. 

“Everyone that is involved in the transaction gets to see each step of the process, unlike other models when companies have to rely on others in the supply chain. 

“With a lot of talk around what should be put into the free trade agreement between the UK and New Zealand, post-Brexit, this ASB deal is a good example of securing New Zealand as an exporter of choice in that all goods and services can now be validated.

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Tags supply chain managementexportbankglobalisationCallaghan Innovationchief digital officerasbBlockchainfintechprimary industriesDXdistributed ledger technologycybersecurityProdoc

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