HSBC has successfully executed a blockchain-enabled, live trade finance transaction between the UAE’s Universal Tubes & Plastic Industries Ltd and India’s Tata Steel Ltd. The Contour blockchain platform enabled end-to-end digitisation of the documentation required for Universal Tubes to import its order of flat carbon steel to the UAE from Tata Steel in India. The transaction is a real case scenario of the operational viability of blockchain as an alternative to conventional exchanges of paper-based documentation. While the physical transfer of goods between the UAE and India takes a relatively short time due to close proximity, the administrative paperwork can often impede delivery. By using blockchain, the reduced transaction time will boost the efficiency of trade between the two countries, which is valued at around $60 billion with the UAE being India’s third largest trading partner. Contour’s platform allows all parties to have visibility of a trade while also ensuring that no single organisation controls all the data. This ensures that banks, importers and exporters have improved visibility without compromising security. HSBC is a founding shareholder in Contour and was the first bank to join the platform as a full production member in December 2020. The transaction also incorporated essDOCS’ CargoDocs solution, enabling the transfer of the title of goods alongside the letter of credit and further streamlining the entire process. Trade finance powers much of global trade but traditionally it involves heavily manual and paper-based processes. Digitisation of these processes can reduce transaction times from 5-10 days to less than 24 hours, unlocking working capital and enabling more trade to be done between countries.