DBS Wins Leader in Trade for Digitalisation 2021

DBS is pleased to be recognised as a Leader in Trade for Digitalisation by Global Trade Review. Here are key highlights of the bank’s digital transformation programme over the course of 2020.

DBS wins leader in trade for digitalisation 2021

A well-established leader in digital transformation, and with a number of key investment and performance highlights in digital trade over the course of 2020, DBS Bank stood out as a clear winner in this category. 

As outlined in its submission to GTR, the bank’s digital transformation programme encompasses five core elements, which it describes as: “Being digital to the core and operating like a big tech firm; embracing journey thinking; effecting cultural change by adopting a start-up mindset firm-wide; being data-driven; and driving digital value capture, in so doing being the first bank in the world to measure and capture the impact of our digital initiatives on our bottom line.” 

DBS’ submission also calls attention to its significant investments in the digitalisation of its core proprietary trade channels; the development of what it says is the world’s largest corporate banking and trade API catalogue; and the formation of leading trade digital third-party partnerships – all of which have underwritten its success as a top digital bank. 

In 2020, among its many highlights, DBS completed the first trade finance transaction on Singapore’s Networked Trade Platform, allowing the submission and exchange of trade documents online. 

Together with Standard Chartered and Enterprise Singapore, it also took the lead on the launch of a new digital trade finance registry, a market-shaping industry effort to tackle fraud risks and tighten commodity trade finance processes. Elsewhere, the bank collaborated with Alibaba to enable trade payment services to SMEs, becoming one of the first banks on AntChain’s newly launched blockchain platform to democratise digital trade access. 

Other notable achievements throughout 2020 include: launching digital letters of credit (LCs) via blockchain – facilitating numerous digital LC issuances, including the first renminbi LC and end-to-end secured LC on the Contour platform; driving supplier financing through settlement with notes, a derivative of supplier financing as part of its growing partnerships with fintechs; and deploying intelligence process automation, resulting in a material reduction of manual touchpoints involved in the processing of purchase and sales invoice financing. 

The bank also continued to power digital trade solutions through its real-time API, DBS Rapid, adding more than 50 new trade APIs to connect with clients’ internal systems. It furthermore digitalised document submissions with DBS DigiDocs, allowing its clients to submit trade financing requests and upload supporting documents and regulatory forms online, connected via API and powered by artificial intelligence (AI). 

“Over 2020, our responsiveness in crisis, strategic partnerships and digital leadership has led to one of our best years on record for our trade and supply chain business,” it says.  

This article was first published by Global Trade Review in April 2021. 

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