Emirates NBD has launched a new supply chain and trade finance portal to enable clients to apply for financing digitally.

The portal, called smartTrade, allows the bank’s transaction banking clients to submit all trade requests online, including letters of credit, guarantees and trade loans. According to the bank, it will reduce the paperwork required as well as shorten turnaround time.

Other new features include the ability to get real-time updates on the status of a transaction through email and mobile notifications. Companies will also be able to access historical data and other information on the portal, helping them to make more informed decisions about their trade finance requirements, the bank says.

Commenting on the news, Sumit Aggarwal, the Emirates NBD’s group head of transaction banking services, says smartTrade will help digitise paper-dependent processes and “reduce a high operational footprint”.

“It increases agility across teams and eliminates errors and redundancies inherent in manual intervention,” he says. “Since the soft-launch a few months back, the response from our clients has been impressive. Sectors as diverse as retail, construction and industrials to name a few are actively using our smartTrade platform.”

The new portal forms part of the bank’s smartBusiness channel, which has seen a number of new solutions introduced in recent months, including online VAT and excise payments, noqodi eWallet top up and eVoucher payments.

Emirates NBD also recently rolled out a new banking package for UAE SMEs and startups involved in Expo 2020. This so-called “Expo 2020 Dubai Account” includes preferential pricing and privileges on transactions, working capital, trade finance, foreign exchange and commercial loans, which will be available for entities registered on the Expo 2020 Online Marketplace (OMP).

Expo 2020, which will be hosted in Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021, will be the largest event ever staged in the Arab world. It is expected to attract no less than 25 million visitors from 192 countries to Dubai over the six-month period.