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Supply chain is a network of organizations, people, activities,
information and resources involved in moving a product or service from suppliers
to customers. It involves the transformation of raw materials and components to
finished products that are eventually delivered to customers.
Supply chain finance refers to the financing processes that
link the different parties in a transaction (buyer, seller and financing
institution). Let’s say A buys goods from supplier B. B delivers the goods and
invoices A, with a 30-day payment term. If B requires early payment, B may
request immediate payment (at a discount) from A’s financing institution. The
financing institution will then remit invoiced amount (at a discount) to
supplier B. The buyer A may also request the financing institution to extend
the payment period from 30 days to 60 days.
The reason why supply chain finance is so popular is that it
benefits both the supplier and the buyer. The supplier is able to reduce its
account receivables outstanding and generate more cash flow through early
financing. The buyer can also improve its cash conversion cycle by extending
Today, supply chain finance is offered by most banks which
have developed technology platforms to automate transactions and track invoice
approval and settlement from start to end. Supply chain finance is most
commonly applied in industries like automotive, manufacturing and retail.
More recently, companies are exploring the use of blockchain
technology in supply chain finance projects. IBM is one of the most active
companies in exploring blockchain technology for supply chain. It has
collaborated with Sichuan Hejia (Chinese supply chain manager), Mahindra
(Indian conglomerate), Maersk Line in cross-border supply chain projects using
blockchain technology. Start-ups are also jumping on the bandwagon to help
bridge the gap in using blockchain technology, like blockchain based financial
operating network Fluent, to streamline supply chain finance.
I assume you are referring to countries like Laos, Cambodia,
Myanmar, Vietnam when you say ‘Indochina countries’. For these countries, the local
banks are less developed and connected to banks in the rest of the world.
Depending on where you are, the local banks in Indochina may or may not have direct
relationship with the beneficiary bank. This will mean that the banks will
probably need to go through an intermediary bank, so you can expect the time
required for remittance to be delayed.
If you are transferring large payments out of Indochina, the
local banks will need to report to central bank, and you will most likely be
asked for the reason for sending the money out. You may be required to fill up some forms,
depending on the reason of fund transfer. When sending the money, it is advised
that you only transfer money that belongs to you and you are able to give
proper explanation to the funds.
You can also use fund transfer service providers like
Western Union, Transferwise, Remitly, etc. The transfer fees charged by different
service providers may vary, and you have to check with them individually.
I have friends working in fintech startups. Based on my conversations with them, they love people who are
1) Positive attitude and fun. Brings lots of energy to the team.
2) Entrepreneurial and problem-solver. Person should be able to think out of the box in solving problems.
3) Should have some understanding of financial instruments,
markets, trading systems (depending on what the fintech does)
4) Depending on whether the role is a technical one, the applicant should know programming languages like C++, Java. Even if the role is non-technical, he should still have basic understanding of coding, APIs, data science and hold a good conversation with the technical team.
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