by Kirk Lundburg, President and CEO at Trade Technologies, Inc.
Recently, I celebrated my 20th anniversary of joining Trade Technologies. In the fall of 2002, Trade Technologies was barely more than a passionate belief that technology and global professional services could deliver exceptional results for exporters using traditional trade finance products, especially the much-maligned export letter of credit. Unlike most fintech companies, then and since, our goal was to simplify, automate and digitize the letter of credit process rather than trying to replace a proven and critical method of international trade.
Twenty years into the journey, our TradeSharp platform and global managed services are thriving as “Fintech for Today’s Trade.” We have facilitated almost USD150 billion of trade transactions for thousands of customers. We now have over 100 trade and technology professionals in 17 offices in North America, Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East. Over 50% of transactions processed on our TradeSharp platform are sent digitally to our partner trade banks.
Every day our team and technology are delivering extraordinary results for our exporter customers, importer customers, and bank partners using traditional trade finance. For example, I recently sat in with a quarterly review for the Asia letter of credit business of one of our global chemicals customers. For this customer, on over 3,500 shipments/presentations a year, discrepancies occurred on only 2% or 3% of transactions.
Even better, our customer is paid on average in 14 days from shipment date on all sight LCs. Pretty great results, and the value of faster payment when using LCs is only becoming more important as interest rates and payment risk are soaring. To do this, we need to have clean documents banked within 4 days of shipment. Not an easy task, but doable with technology, process, data, and a dedicated team of document management professionals.
During Covid, we went live with the first of our TradeBridge bank integration products. TradeBridge Bank fully automates the exchange of data and documents between banks and exporters for the entire LC and collections process. TradeBridge instantly delivers data for compliance and registration along with document images directly to the bank exam group. Using TradeBridge, banks can eliminate the need to manage the paper for LC and collections transactions. Our new TradeBridge API product will make this approach a reality for all of our partner banks.
None of this is possible without the extraordinary and unwavering support from our team, customers and partners. The sun never sets on the Trade Technologies team and they are working 24 hours a day to make every export transaction a success for our customers. Likewise, our customers and partner banks have enthusiastically supported our efforts to drag letters of credit into the 21st century.
I am extremely grateful to our customers, team members, partners, and everyone else who has helped us climb this mountain, but we are not done. Stay tuned.