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Online platform to assist COVID-19-stressed importers

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Secure blockchain-based platforms are playing a significant role in engaging importers with potential funders during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This is according to an industry executive, who says import businesses that have been experiencing difficulty, as a result of limited financial support during the lockdown, may find renewed hope through a local online trade finance platform.

Wayne Champion, CEO of tradeXpad, says his firm provides direct access to funding opportunities from multiple private funders and traditional banks, both locally and abroad.

He says tradeXpad is open to businesses of all sizes, across all geographical jurisdictions, and is not currency-bound, provided there are funders who can support specific currency requests.

Champion believes a secure blockchain-based platform like tradeXpad is a necessary shortcut to engage with potential funders. He says the platform’s blockchain and smart contracts provide a “single source of truth” with a transparent view of activity and documentation at all critical points of a supply chain.

“Because of the platform’s tiered risk and multiple funder models, there are no minimums or maximums applied to importers submitting credit applications to the marketplace. Funders are willing to offer facilities at all levels. We do believe this will be a game-changer for businesses who were challenged even before the COVID-19 crisis emerged.

“Companies that rely on imported goods – whether they be raw materials or manufactured items – are being hard hit in the current economic crisis. Manufacturing and distribution logistics have been disrupted by delays at the ports during lockdown, and although goods will eventually clear, this ultimately leaves importers battling with liquidity to secure their next import batches.”

Champion says there are two primary problems that larger corporates and SMMEs alike are facing right now: cashflow and time, both of which are in short supply.

“Funds that were previously available through traditional finance routes are either limited or difficult to access even for established businesses. Secondly, the time it takes to get finance approved through traditional avenues also means businesses cannot move fast enough when speed to market is critical.

“As a result, businesses are looking at technology that can provide more direct ways to expand their access to funding.”

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