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CGI and National Bank of Canada Pilot a Blockchain Guarantee and Standby Negotiation Platform

CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) announced the successful collaboration with National Bank of Canada and Skuchain on a pilot program that will improve and streamline the process for negotiating standby letters of credit and guarantees, the complex conditional agreements used by banks for securing financial transactions. These agreements, used across many industries to secure contracts, are currently conducted via email, making them prone to errors and delays in a process that lacks transparency for beneficiaries regarding terms and approval status.

For National Bank of Canada, CGI integrated the CGI Trade360 trade finance platform with Skuchain’s Contract Builder, an application built on the blockchain startup’s Brackets platform for smart contracts on a blockchain. The integration enables National Bank of Canada to provide trade finance services digitally to customers conducting business on a blockchain B2B solution. In particular, customers will be able to initiate, conduct and conclude negotiations of standby letters of credit and guarantees entirely on smart contracts that can intelligently construct agreements and securely communicate any changes in terms to relevant parties. The result is a blockchain-based contract negotiation tool that is enormously effective in the standby letter of credit and guarantee process.

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National Bank of Canada’s end-to-end, blockchain-enabled process will improve processing times, reduce risks and help strengthen the bank’s customer relationships. By leveraging templates pre-approved by banks and negotiations on a distributed ledger, the integrated platform automates the coordination necessary to issue a standby letter of credit or guarantee.  The newly streamlined process offers visibility across the lifecycle, lower costs for all parties, increased security and more effective collaboration.

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“This pilot project is a great opportunity to leverage blockchain technology to simplify the process for negotiating standby letters of credit and guarantees while making it more transparent and secure. This will enable us to offer a simple, fast and efficient experience to our commercial clients which facilitates managing their business,” said Patrice Roy, Vice President, Payments, Cash Management and International Solutions at National Bank of Canada.

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“This standby letter of credit contract builder is the first live implementation of the emerging DLPC standard” said Srinivasan Sriram, CEO at Skuchain. “This standard is the result of more than two years of work by the Distributed Ledger Payment Commitment (DLPC) Working Group at the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) which our VP of Technology Ranganathan Krishnan has been captaining.”

“The use of blockchain offers a shared ledger that serves as the single source of truth during pre-issuance negotiation and through issuance and re-issuance processes,” said Frank Tezzi, Vice-President of Trade and Supply Chain Solutions at CGI. “This example provides certainty and transparency for beneficiaries regarding the guarantee process as they enter into a financial transaction.”

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