New Zealand Bank ASB Uses Blockchain in Meat Export Deal with South Korea

ASB claims the transaction was the first New Zealand export deal settled on blockchain although the technology was utilized in conjunction with a traditional system.

New Zealand private bank ASB has facilitated a shipment of meat from its country to South Korea by using distributed ledger technology (DLT), according to a press release on Friday. The financial institution claims the deal is the first-ever “bank-led blockchain trade” in New Zealand’s export history although ASB used DLT “in parallel” with its traditional system.

The bank settled a transaction between Greenlea Premier Meats and a South Korean importer with the participation of local export insurer Vero and documentation processing distributor Prodoc. The blockchain system speeded up the export process to an hour compared to the two to four days needed with traditional trading software, as explained by Greg Beehre, head of global transaction banking at ASB.

The bank uploaded, shared, and updated all trading documents by using blockchain solutions.

“[Blockchain] offers traceability and is scalable across the whole supply chain ecosystem giving all partners in the process a competitive advantage,” Beehre commented in the press release.

According to Jack Vollebregt, CFO of the Kiwi meat exporter, DLT not only accelerated significantly the export process but also reduced the risk of fraud and cyber-attacks as it removed the weak links in the traditional trading system and guaranteed data integrity.

The platform used by ASB was built by blockchain company VerifyUnion, which launched a supply chain management product in June. CEO AJ Smith noted:

“New Zealand is an export-led economy. It was really important to us to be able to use emerging technologies to help ASB solve a real problem facing its exporting customers. At the documentation layer, the blockchain-enabled supply chain allows partners to access key documents, such as a bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs, which streamline these processes.”

ASB, which is owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), plans to use the DLT system for trade via airfreight in the coming weeks.

Blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrency, has become attractive to various industries, including the banking sector, where several players have rolled out DLT solutions.

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