Why digitizing trade finance is a big deal and what it means for global supply chains

Last week, HSBC announced a partnership with us to offer supply chain financing and today, we announced that our partner in China, CreditEase, launched a new app on our global platform to offer receivables financing for Chinese exporters. In this post, we’ll add color to the latest partnership news.

Tradeshift has for years partnered with banks such as Citibank and complementary technology providers like C2FO to offer more choice and variety on our platform to improve the working capital of trading partners. Since we added Citibank nearly half a decade ago, we knew that partners would form the foundation of the largest business commerce platform in the world with the largest offering for business-to-business finance. By 2018, we expect to have delivered several billions of dollars in lending.

Choice matters when you have upwards of 1.5 million companies (figure includes IBX Business Network, which we announced a deal to acquire last month) and no one provider can meet the needs of credit across all regions, industries, and organizational sizes. There’s enough opportunity for multiple providers to deploy capital on the platform.

According to a report by the World Trade Organization (WTO), globally over half of trade finance requests by SMEs are rejected and those in developing countries face in bigger hurdles. There’s an estimated $700B in unmet demand for trade financing in Asia and $120B in Africa. It’s a challenge that we and our partners are in a great position to address head on. A study by Ernst & Young found that the leading 2,000 US and European companies have up to US$1.3T of cash unnecessarily tied up.

Financial providers like HSBC and CreditEase will be available as virtual branches throughout our cloud-based marketplace where billions of dollars of transacted value is exchanged on a daily basis. Joint customers will benefit from the efficiency and simplicity of our procurement, AP, and other supply chain processes and at the same time have the option to apply for financing seamlessly. Banks will also benefit from having access to transactional information allowing them to better assess risk.

Since these latest partnership announcements are hot off the press, we’re light on literature for the time being, but you can get in touch with Sales if you have any questions and below are more details.


HSBC is a global banking juggernaut with a physical presence in over 50 countries. As a strategic partner, the 150-year-old company brings to the table the trust and experience that will go a long way to help SMEs to improve their working capital and improve relationships with their trading partners. We have some of the largest Fortune 500 customers with massive supplier bases and sophisticated supply chains. Their suppliers range from large global corporates to SMEs, some of whom likely already bank with HSBC. Integrating HSBC’s trade financing offerings on the platform will add tremendous convenience. Buyer-side customers using the joint solution will benefit from decreased operating costs, enhanced capital efficiency, and improved supplier loyalty and risk management. HSBC will help us scale the incredible innovation that we are pushing across multiple fronts.


Founded in 2006, CreditEase is a Chinese fintech marvel with roots in peer-to-peer lending. The company specializes in small business and consumer lending, wealth management, and has recently set up a business for supply chain financing and related services. CreditEase, or Yixin as it’s known in China, has spent the last few months developing an app for receivables financing and its available on the platform today, in the App marketplace. The app is initially intended for Chinese SMEs that need a source of alternative working capital financing as traditional means are proving to be archaic in the face of fully integrated and digitized solutions.  

Through the company’s venture fund, CreditEase New Financial Industry Investment Fund, we will codevelop solutions to improve the success rate and efficiency for suppliers and buyers by providing a unified, innovative, automated and on-demand online financial service.

We’re proud to have these latest major partners (and investors) join our marketplace and help drive our goal to democratize business. We look forward to working with these financial leaders and more like them to develop integrated capabilities and services to finally solve the liquidity problem across supply chains and bring mutual benefit to all players in the ecosystem. In turn, we’ll make the largest business commerce platform in the world even better.

About the Author

Tradeshift connects buyers, suppliers, and all their processes in one global network. We help you transform the way you work with suppliers today – and adapt to whatever the future brings.

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