CGI to partner HSBC transformational trade technology platform

09 May 2019 5 min. read
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IT business and consulting firm CGI has been named as the new delivery partner of global trade technology platform. Applying the firm’s Trade360 solution on behalf of the HSBC Group, the infrastructure produced by CGI will leverage and converge different emerging technologies for HSBC’s clients, including blockchain, APIs and Internet of Things.

Digital disruption has hit leading businesses across the industrial spectrum, but arguably its effects are the most pronounced in the banking sector. There, many centuries old entities have shrugged off a diversity of challenges, including multiple global financial crises, to retain their market share. It is telling, then, that those same organisations are panicking in the face rapid advances in the financial technology space, which have meant that traditional banking institutions find themselves increasingly open to losing market share to new, agile competitors.

With the continued faltering of some of Europe’s most established names in the sector, it has become increasingly apparent that a failure to adapt quickly could spell disaster for even the previously most secure brands. As a result, while the FinTech sector continues to boom, the world’s largest banks are increasingly looking to up their own innovation game.

CGI to partner HSBC transformational trade technology platform

HSBC is one such entity, keen to drastically bolster its technological offering in the coming years. With its roots tracing back to 1866, what was originally known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation now has 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. Despite its size and maturity, however, the world’s seventh largest bank has been under pressure in recent years, with former JP Morgan banker Greg Guyett recently reshuffling its global banking division to try and stop the rot.

The self-styled ‘world’s local bank’ is also seeking to transform its global trade and receivables business by refreshing the underlying technology and improving agility and processing capabilities. HSBC intends to do this by harnessing a new global trade technology platform, leveraging and converging different emerging technologies for its clients, including distributed ledger, APIs and Internet of Things. These developments hinge on a freshly struck partnership between HSBC's Commercial Bank and global IT and business consulting firm CGI.

Founded in 1976, CGI has since established itself as one of the world’s foremost independent IT professional services groups, working on a number of keystone technology projects in the UK in recent months. CGI is currently working to deliver a vote counting e-solution for the 2020 London elections, as well as working with the Scottish Border Council to boost the digital education standards of Scotland, and has opened a new Salford office to join the UK Government’s growing Northern Powerhouse initiative.

CGI does have a previous relationship with HSBC, but the partnership with HSBC Commercial Bank is a new relationship, and having forged that alliance, CGI will now deliver a new infrastructure to help the bank drive its market leadership and innovation agenda. The platform in question will be based around CGI’s Trade360, a holistic trade finance solution delivered as a software as a service (SaaS), which promises improved efficiency, reporting and time-to-market for new digital products produced by clients in the banking sector. The deal is aimed to deliver all the software and business capability to power the bank’s global trade business.

When asked what makes Trade360 stand out from its rival platforms, Neil Sadler, CGI’s Senior Vice President, UK Financial Services, said CGI is not aware of there being "any other SaaS end-to-end trade finance platforms" on the market. At the same time, HSBC will be the only ‘on premise’ Trade360 client so far, making the alliance a pioneering step for CGI's solution.

Sadler said of the partnership, “We are very closely aligned with HSBC in our thinking on how trade and supply chain finance should develop. Working together on an important industry programme such as this is mutually beneficial to us both, as it will allow HSBC to speed up the process of bringing additional value to their client base, while enabling CGI to accelerate the value of our market leading intellectual property.”