October 2021: Contour, the digital trade finance network, has partnered with the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) to enable the use of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) within its network and to financially support its members in obtaining their own LEI.
By adopting the established universal entity identifier, Contour’s members will benefit from increased confidence amongst their trading counterparties, lower data reconciliation costs, reduced transaction discrepancies and improved risk management.
The LEI, provided by GLEIF, is a 20-character ISO 17442 code used across markets and jurisdictions that provides businesses with a unique identity. The code connects to annually verified business reference data and ownership structure information about a legal entity in a freely accessible online registry – the LEI Index. This can be quickly checked by anyone at any time, enabling organisations to know precisely who they are doing business with. The verifiable company data that the LEI provides results in greater trust and visibility in the marketplace between trade participants.
As trade becomes more globalised, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to accurately identify information related to the parties they trade with. The process of acquiring this information is often a complex task, requiring a significant investment in time, money and resources.
Contour’s partnership with GLEIF and the adoption of the LEI will enable users of its platform to overcome this issue by standardising information involved in business transactions. The integration of the LEI into Contour’s digital network will allow trading parties to benefit from improved data integrity and reliability, creating a more transparent trading environment.
Aaron Seabrook, Chief Operating Officer at Contour, said: “Standardisation of identity is an important step in enabling businesses to seamlessly participate in multiple, complementary trade networks without encountering administrative barriers. At Contour, we believe in making trade finance more accessible by streamlining connections between trade participants. Our partnership with GLEIF will help us achieve this by equipping users of our network with the information they need to transact with confidence.”
Stephan Wolf, Chief Executive Officer at GLEIF, said: “Increasing LEI volumes in trade finance and broadening their usage in the supply chain will solve the issue of trust in financial transactions globally. Verified legal entity identification, which can only be realised universally across international borders by LEI usage, is a core component of a well-functioning global supply chain ecosystem. LEI usage will also serve to make trade finance a great deal more accessible to SMEs by helping to close the so-called ‘trade finance gap’ and would also spur sustainable economic growth.”
Oswald Kuyler, Managing Director at ICC DSI, said: “The ICC is committed to promoting trade inclusion and allowing small companies to access leading banks and global trade players. We therefore welcome Contour’s partnership with GLEIF and look forward to seeing how the adoption of the LEI will help businesses on Contour’s network broaden their participation in both domestic and global markets.”
Contour will continue to deepen its use of LEI in the coming months, working with its partners on new APIs, building it into its KYC processes and collaborating on the GLEIF-led Verifiable LEI (vLEI) initiative.