Business commerce firm Tradeshift is moving further into the supply chain financing space, launching Tradeshift Pay to incorporate regular and blockchain-based payments into its offering. Apart from its current banking partners, which include the likes of HSBC and Santander, the firm will soon announce new partnerships with a number of other financial institutions.
Founded in 2010, Tradeshift offers a cloud-based platform that connects more than 1.5 million companies globally. It includes capabilities such as electronic invoicing, document matching and tax compliance, and has on average allowed companies to digitalise 70-80% of their supply chains.
And now, with the launch of Tradeshift Pay, users can access a single wallet to handle all their payments, whether through their bank or blockchain-based payments solutions.
Speaking to GTR, the company’s CEO and co-founder Christian Lanng says the launch makes Tradeshift the first platform to incorporate supply chain payments, finance and blockchain-based early payments into one unified solution.
Currently, he says, the Tradeshift platform can integrate with both Ripple blockchain payments and R3’s Corda.
“What we built is an end-to-end platform that starts with the invoice, tax compliance, cash positions, through to the actual payout and working capital, on a cloud platform,” he says.
The firm is already offering its users access to more than 200 apps developed by third-party providers within sourcing, analytics and supply chain financing.
While the platform will support blockchain payments, Lanng notes that the main interest in this technology thus far is in using it to create transparency around the payables that need financing.
“Let’s say you have an invoice that needs to be financed, we allow you to write that invoice to a public ledger, so financing partners can go and finance that transaction. It’s more about creating transparency into the payables by writing the actual transactional data onto the public ledger than it is to do the actual payment,” he says.
With this move, Tradeshift, which has previously been hesitant to classify itself as a fintech firm, is officially taking on supply chain financing and payments as one of its main focus areas. This is something that is drawing a huge interest from banks and other financial services firms, Lanng explains.
“Now we’re adding one to two banks a quarter to the platform, so it’s really becoming the de facto standard or used cloud platform for a lot of these banks for doing supply chain financing and payments,” he says.
Tradeshift’s finance partners already include HSBC, Santander, Citi and CreditEase. According to Lanng, at least five other banks will soon be onboarded to the platform, but these have not yet been publicly named.