UnionBank steps up supply chain finance with blockchain – Manila Bulletin

UnionBank steps up supply chain finance with blockchain – Manila Bulletin

At the recently held Singapore FinTech Festival 2022, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) highlighted the crucial role Supply Chain Finance (SCF) plays in strengthening the Philippine business ecosystem and how Blockchain is being used as an innovative tool to benefit industry players.

UnionBank launches Supply Chain Finance (SCF) on Blockchain to meet the needs of suppliers, distributors and buyers as they find a way to continue to be relevant by reducing high production costs, meeting consumer demands and becoming more economically scalable.

The blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets (tangible or intangible) in a business network. It single-handedly connects the suppliers, distributors and buyers while promoting transparency through distributed ledgers and smart contracts that eliminate fraudulent transactions, such as double financing.

Considered a strategic weapon of choice that allows for working capital and cash flow management, Financial Supply Chain (FSC) on Blockchain is a first in terms of financial supply chain management in the Philippines. By using FSC, operations and financial management are effectively simplified.

FSC on the Blockchain supports multiple financial options at different points in the supply chain, including payable discount and receivables financing. Transactions made on the FSC system are powered by IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric, which guarantees efficiency and security in the supply chain. Hyperledger is a multi-project open source collaborative effort hosted by The Linux Foundation, created to advance blockchain technologies across industries.

“Supply Chain Financing, powered by technology that we see around us here at the Singapore FinTech Festival, really opens up opportunities for us (UnionBank) and also provides access to finance among the MSME segment, which as of today is largely underbanked,” according to Ramon Duarte, Head of Transaction Banking Center at UnionBank.

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UnionBank provides opportunities for businesses to maximize solutions at FSC with the continued challenge the COVID-19 pandemic presents to entrepreneurs. The bank also adds value to local businesses and their supply chain ecosystem through an enhanced community of businesses and a digitized supply chain. For businesses, UnionBank offers access to a technology-enabled FSC by providing them with innovative, secure financing products.

Towards a reliable artificial intelligence and data science

During one of the media briefings held at the UnionBank booth at the Singapore FinTech Festival, I asked the bank’s representatives their views on the Trustworthy AI initiative.

Among the issues surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), as well as data science today, is how to make it reliable. The term Trustworthy AI refers to AI that is legal, ethically compliant and technically robust. This idea is based on the assumption that AI will reach its full potential when trust can be established at every stage of its life cycle – from design, development, deployment and use.

“It is a very important topic. We want to know what you can trust and what you can’t. We are now developing an explainable and responsible AI framework so that Data Science is also guided in seeing where our biases are present,” according to Dr. Adrienne Heinrich, Head of AI and Innovation Center of Excellence at UnionBank.

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