Making Corporate Banking Simple

4 min read

by Martin McCann, CEO of Trade Ledger™

"Small businesses simply want working capital. They want to know how much, how soon and what it will cost,” says Martin McCann, CEO and Co-Founder of Trade Ledger™. As the company he founded in Australia establishes itself in Europe, Martin talks about bringing the open banking revolution to corporate banking, overcoming the barriers of Excel spreadsheets with machine learning, and AI and bots.

Trade Ledger™ was founded in 2016 – Why, what problem were you solving?

The single biggest reason businesses fail is a lack of adequate funding – globally this equates to an under supply of credit of somewhere in the region of £1.2 trillion. This is the problem we are trying to resolve.

Advancements in technology are rapidly changing the way businesses trade, whether it's sending invoices, receiving payments, managing cashflow or simply interacting with their bank. We’re on a global mission to create the world’s most versatile banking platform which uses data, analytics and technology to help banks, businesses and economies access the resources that they need to thrive.

Why do you think supply chain finance, credit and lending has been slow on the innovation front – compared to other areas of financial services?

In some ways we’ve been waiting for the corporate market to catch up to the consumer space, but regulation has now started to really accelerate the cadence at which banks are innovating. In recent years, a number of challenger banks in the UK and around the globe have appeared who are using technology, an innate understanding of the customer or simply jumping into underserved markets to create highly profitable innovative business propositions and new market niches.

Traditionally, this is a market dominated by the large incumbent banks, but these banks have a number of significant barriers to overcome before they can consider joining this new wave of challengers:

  • Technology – This sounds obvious but some of the processes we work with in banks are still hosted on Excel spreadsheets – this couldn’t be further from an innovation platform. On average 6 different systems are used to onboard new customers – but with Trade Ledger, you only need one.
  • Organisation – Fast decisions are tricky in a large organisation, which make rapid transformation extremely difficult to implement and many people are naturally averse to change.
  • Regulation – To ensure the stability of our economic system, banks have to comply with a bewildering array of compliance procedures. The sheer volume of analysis and consultation required for even minor process changes is staggering.
  • Competition – For many years the major players have had very little in the way of competition. As challenger banks and fintechs work on the great unbundling of banking products, banks will see an ever-increasing threat from competition. Not to mention the still unknown intentions of the ‘Big 4’ global tech companies in financial services.

Who uses Trade Ledger?

Any business wanting to use the very latest technology to solve problems in banking can use Trade Ledger. We have specialised in building propositions for the lending sector, but our infrastructure is ideal for any corporate banking innovation, such as open banking and PSD2 opportunities. We help our customers solve even the most challenging problems in corporate banking. Today banking is about connected platform ecosystems and we plan to be at the centre of this movement for our clients.

Your solution is built on machine learning and robotics, among other technologies – why these technologies, and how do they enable Trade Ledger to provide a platform that allows banks to automate the credit assessment process, assess SME supply chain data in real time, and calculate changing credit risk?

Trade Ledger™ is fundamentally an enterprise tech company. Our background is building the world’s most sophisticated software applications for the world’s biggest companies. The unique insight that provides has informed our view on how to build high-quality, innovative solutions for corporate banking. We only deploy tech that is enterprise scale ready.

Our industry knowledge enables us to select the emerging tech just as it becomes scalable and deployable at massive scale in banks globally. That is why our roadmap is currently focused on APIs, analytics and machine learning. These technologies also remove the constraints of previously manual credit processing and enable us to reimagine business credit for our customers. Trade Ledger™ has better, customer consented, digital data, in real-time than any other platform in use globally today. We manage risk in real-time, making zero expected loss ratios on credit possible.

We work with banks and other lenders to redefine a new digital service concept for their operations, based on leveraging this incredible asset and focused on customer experience. No SME wants to sit and figure out if they need invoice discounting, supply chain finance, overdrafts or something else. They simply want working capital. They want to know how much, how soon and what it will cost.

The company was founded in Australia – how has the product been developed to scale globally?

The platform has always been conceived from day zero to scale globally. Both myself and Matt Born, my co-founder, have worked in the enterprise global software for our entire careers so we know how to build scalable, multi-tenanted, cloud native technology – that’s the easy bit! It was multi-currency and multi-language capable from the beginning. We can deploy our platform via our continuous delivery DevOps processes in a new country in less than four hours. We have taken advantage of the advances in cloud technology and built the most modern, well architected and global platform we could think of.

The more challenging scalability issues are around building a world-class organisation that works seamlessly across borders and time zones to deliver something groundbreaking. 2018 saw the launch of our European hub in London which complemented our existing Sydney labs. We will look to spread across the EU and into the Americas to establish a truly 24/7 development and delivery capability.

Similar posts

Talk to a real human

Get in touch and an expert will get back to you
Contact Us

Take a test drive

See our platform in action today
On-demand Demo