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BBVA trials blockchain-based international trade transaction between Spain and Mexico

Multinational Spanish banking group BBVA has successfully carried out the first blockchain-based international trade transaction between Europe and Latin America.

Conducted in collaboration with Wave, the pilot aimed to automate the electronic submission of documents in an import-export transaction between Mexico and Spain. Using Wave’s solution, BBVA was able to reduce the time required to send, verify and authorize an international trade transaction, which normally takes from seven to ten days, to just 2.5 hours.

“The pilot we carried out with Wave represents a leap forward in improving the efficiency of international trade transactions. The time it takes to manage the documentation was reduced to a process that lasted just a few hours, in which all parties (the banks, the importer and the exporter) were constantly aware of the status of the documents,” said Patxi Fernández de Trocóniz, Head of Global Trade & International Banking.

According to the official release, the pilot was run on an actual sale transaction in which a Spain-based company Frime bought over 25 tons of frozen tuna from Mexico-based Pinsa Congelados. It also included electronic signature of documents, the simultaneous distribution of copies to all parties and the reception of the ownership of the documentation at each step along the way. The payment was made using a letter of credit issued by BBVA Spain and processed by BBVA Bancomer.

“The operation was registered and securely validated at the same time for all parties, thanks to the distributed ledgers and the immutability of blockchain,” said Daniel Berenguer, Head of Digital Trade Finance in Client Solutions.

BBVA said that while the pilot focused exclusively on electronic document submission, it could be applied to the final credit card payment and even to the prior procedures and financing of the operations.

Earlier in April, BBVA completed first real-time cross-border money transfer using Ripple blockchain technology between Spain and Mexico. More recently, BBVA and BBVA Bancomer announced that they are piloting an FX matching application developed by Calypso Technology and enterprise software firm R3.

By Shampa Mani
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