HSBC digitises global trade with IBM

HSBC digitises global trade with IBM

HSBC and IBM are working on a project “to develop a cognitive intelligence solution combining optical character recognition with advanced robotics to make global trade safer and more efficient”.

HSBC says its global trade and receivables finance (GTRF) team facilitates over $500 billion of documentary trade for customers every year, and in doing so must manually review and process up to 100 million pages of documents, ranging from invoices to packing lists and insurance certificates.

“The average trade transaction requires 65 data fields to be extracted from 15 different documents, with 40 pages to be reviewed,” explains Natalie Blyth, HSBC’s global head of GTRF.

IBM’s analytics technology will provide intelligent segmentation and text analytics to help identify, digitise and extract key data within these documents. It will then feed it into the bank’s transaction processing systems.

HSBC anticipates the solution will boost accuracy and free up staff for more value-adding tasks.

Roger Welch, financial industry expert and solution architect for IBM Analytics ECM practice, notes: “In our experience, no trade finance solution has come as far or done as much as this new solution.”

HSBC is currently using the technology to analyse English-language import and export bills in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The team aims to enhance the solution so it can read a wider range of documents and languages including Chinese, French and Spanish.

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