Standard Chartered is targeting Chinese SMEs with a new supply chain finance offering in partnership with a local blockchain-based supply chain platform.

The bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Linklogis, one of China’s largest B2B-focused, independent supply chain platforms, to leverage its digital solution for global and commercial banking clients in China.

Linklogis aims to accelerate and develop growth within Standard Chartered’s global network, including cross-border solutions for businesses importing into, and exporting out of, China.

According to Standard Chartered, the new solution will provide large buyers with superior transparency on their entire chain of suppliers and offer small and medium-sized suppliers cheaper access to credit.

The partnership has also pledged to improve Standard Chartered’s client onboarding turnaround time by digitising manual processes and enhancing its risk management approach with Linklogis’ data and analytics capabilities.

A spokesperson for Standard Chartered explains to GTR that the project is still in its infancy and that there is no fixed deadline for when the service will go live.

The collaboration forms part of Standard Chartered’s ambitions to grow its presence in China, says Simon Cooper, the bank’s CEO of corporate, commercial and institutional banking.

Linklogis is just the latest blockchain company that Standard Chartered has partnered with to build a more innovative offering, following the completion of a supplier finance transaction on dltledgers, a Hyperledger Fabric-based platform, in January.

The dltledgers platform enables traders to connect to their supply chain network and digitalise trade processes and financing documentation.

Standard Chartered was also involved in developing an internet of things smart financing solution with Chinese phone maker Huawei in October 2018 to help the bank make better financing decisions.

The bank has additionally worked with blockchain firm TradeIX to develop blockchain-powered applications, including an invoice finance programme for DHL and a solution for smart guarantees for Siemens Financial Services.

Finally, Standard Chartered is a member of the Marco Polo consortium, which is working with TradeIX and R3 on a Corda-based platform for open account trade.