China Ever­bright Bank (CEB), a major commercial bank in China and one of the world’s largest public companies, is debuting a blockchain-based supply chain finance solution by Ant Financial.

Ant Financial, the financial arm of Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has partnered with CEB to collaboratively implement Duo Chain — a network services platform designed to handle supply chain-related financial transactions.

Ant Fi­nan­cial started working on the Duo Chain in 2019

CEB and Ant Financial initially formed their partnership during the second half of 2019. CEB is the first Chinese bank to deploy Ant Financial’s Duo Chain, as reported by local finance-focused publication, Sina Finance, on March 12. According to local reports, Ant Fi­nan­cial originally unveiled the technology in 2019 as a way to boost supply chain finance using blockchain technology.

By definition, supply chain finance (SCF) is an optimization practice that aims to provide efficient financing of the value chain. The goal of both parties — buyer and seller — is to reduce working capital, and improve cash flow at a diminished cost by deploying the buyer’s credit rating. As such, SCF provides short-term credit which allows buyers to extend their payment terms, and enables suppliers to receive earlier payments.

To date, a number of companies worldwide have already deployed blockchain-based SCF solutions in an effort to increase the transparency of transactions and optimize costs of credit access. For example, London-based bank and financial services firm, Standard Chartered, completed its first joint blockchain-based supply chain financing transaction in August 2019. Previously, China Shipbuilding Industry Company partnered with Shanghai Bank to develop a blockchain-based online supply chain finance platform in 2018.

China Ever­bright Bank to improve security of SCF transactions with blockchain

By implementing Ant Financial’s Duo Chain technology, China Ever­bright Bank intends to improve the security of SCF, and eliminate fraudulent transactions. As reported by Sina, the Duo Chain plat­form allows users to complete identity verification and electronic signatures with CEB, while recording all relevant transactions to a distributed ledger for tracking purposes.

CEB reportedly added that the bank also in­te­grated internal and external data management platforms, en­ter­prise credit plat­forms, and other connected sys­tems to raise efficiency and quality of its financial services.

The Duo Chain technology deployment is not the first move to blockchain made by CEB. In early 2019, China Ever­bright Bank reportedly became a member of a major local blockchain banking project, the Trade and Finance Interbank Trading Blockchain Platform. The platform was launched by China’s self-regulatory bank organization, the China Banking Association, in December 2018.