Singapore telco StarHub said it would partner with insurance giant Prudential to launch a blockchain-based digital trade platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
With the new platform – called Fasttrack Trade (FTT) - SMEs could seek business partners and distributors, buy and sell goods, track shipments, receive and make payments, access financing and buy insurance via a single platform.
The platform is being developed by fintech startup Cites Gestion with funding from Prudential, StarHub said in a statement on Wednesday.
Under the partnership, StarHub will offer its enterprise customers access to FTT's services while Prudential will offer insurance to help them mitigate business risks.
"Today, there is a huge trade financing gap in Southeast Asia because of a lack of financing and access to business services, especially for smaller businesses. A digital platform such as FTT could help boost the trade corridors in Southeast Asia, strengthen business communities and bring about significant economic benefits to everyone," said Agnes Hugot, CEO and co-founder of Cites Gestion.
Prudential Singapore is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential Plc.
Every transaction on FTT is recorded and traceable, making it not only safer but also faster and cheaper for SMEs to conduct trade transactions and access financing, the company said.