Standard Chartered plans to team up with digital payments platform Tazapay to deliver digital escrow services to buyers and sellers looking to trade globally on Proxtera, a business-to-business marketplace network.
The collaboration marks the bank’s first escrow-as-a-service offering, as well as the first banking partner that Tazapay is collaborating with following its partnership announcement with Proxtera in February this year.
Proxtera, a commercialisation of the Business sans Borders initiative launched in 2018 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, was established in 2020 to carry out this programme with a vision of reducing friction in cross-border trade, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Standard Chartered and Tazapay, Standard Chartered will facilitate the opening of bank accounts required by Tazapay to receive and hold the escrow funds in both the buyers’ market and the escrow location, and enable the flow of funds to the sellers once Tazapay validates the escrow conditions for the release of funds – for example, evidence of delivery or receipt of goods from the parties.
The pilot transaction for the MoU will take place between Singapore and India after obtaining appropriate regulatory clearances, with more corridors to be added in due course.
“Tazapay is committed to making cross-border commerce easier for SMEs,” says Rahul Shinghal, Tazapay’s chief executive officer. “To do this most effectively means strengthening the ecosystem that supports them through partnership with other trusted players in trade and finance. Together, we can offer better payment and financing options to SMEs, helping them to build trust with more trading partners and ultimately expand their businesses.”