The Challenges facing the Digital Trade Finance industry

Oct 31, 2023


Gartner Hype Cycle, a model that describes the adoption and social application of specific technologies. 

According to this model, technologies often experience inflated expectations followed by a ‘trough of disillusionment,’ where they either fail or adapt to market realities. 

The documentary trade finance market is probably the hardest segment to transform digitally, which is why those courageous ones who dare to innovate in this segment ought to focus on addressing specific pain points and show much patience. 


Over the last 5 years, we have witnessed many global banks adopting document checking and compliance monitoring technologies. Also, large corporates are increasingly adopting multi-banking trade platforms as they have done on the treasury side for around two decades. 

But patience is key. 

Despite their efforts to bridge gaps in the trade ecosystem, the tech interoperability alone cannot solve the industry’s deeply rooted issues.

By addressing the challenges that the industry faces, and by focusing on building a more inclusive digital trade finance ecosystem, we can help to ensure that digital trade finance reaches its full potential and benefits all stakeholders, including SMEs.



In order to address the challenges facing the digital trade finance industry, it is important to focus on:

- Improving the adoption of new technologies: 

The trade finance industry needs to become more open to adopting new technologies. This can be done by educating stakeholders on digital benefits and by providing financial incentives to adopt digital trade finance platforms.


- Making digital trade finance more inclusive: 

Digital trade finance platforms need to be designed to be accessible to all stakeholders, including SMEs. This can be done by developing open source digital trade finance platforms, and by providing government-backed initiatives to promote the adoption of digital trade finance by SMEs.


- Improving the interoperability of digital trade finance platforms: 

Digital trade finance platforms need to be interoperable with each other. This would make it easier for banks and corporates to use multiple platforms, and it would also create a more seamless experience for users.


- Addressing concerns about data security and privacy: 

Digital trade finance platforms need to implement robust security and privacy measures. This would help to build trust with banks and corporates, and it would make them more likely to adopt digital trade finance solutions.

Its a long path ahead where what we choose will have long-lasting implications for the future of digital trade finance. 

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