UnionBank steps up supply chain finance with the blockchain – Manila Bulletin

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

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

The blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger facilitating the process of recording transactions and tracking assets (tangible or intangible) within 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.

Financial Supply Chain (FSC) on the Blockchain, deemed as a strategic weapon of choice that allows working capital and cash flow management, is the first in terms of financial chain management in the Philippines. Using FSC, operations and financial management are simplified efficiently and effectively.

Supporting multiple financial options at various points of the supply chain, FSC on the Blockchain includes payable discounting 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 cross-industry blockchain technologies.

“Supply Chain Financing, powered by technology that we see all around us here at the Singapore FinTech Festival, is really opening up opportunities for us (UnionBank) and also giving access to financing among the MSME segment, who as of today are mostly underbanked,” according to Ramon Duarte, Transaction Banking Center Head at UnionBank.

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

Towards a Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence & Data Science

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

Among the issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as Data Science today is how to make it trustworthy. The term Trustworthy AI refers to AI that is lawful, ethically adherent, and technically robust. This idea is based on the premise that AI will reach its full potential when trust can be established in each stage of its lifecycle — from design, development, deployment, and use.

“It’s a very important topic. We want to know what can you trust and what not. We are now developing an explainability 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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