‘Track and trace’ blockchain platform to bolster banks' ethical data use, reduce risk across supply chains

KPMG has launched a new cross-national ‘track and trace’ blockchain platform, giving trading partners across multiple industries, including financial services, a new pathway to share richer product and service data across their supply chains and boost data provenance processes. 
 

Through the platform, dubbed KPMG Origins, traders will be able to communicate, track and trace unique product information across their supply chains – from source supplier right through to end consumer – providing “an independent third-party verification and certification of data and processes”, according to KPMG Australia's ASPAC head of advisory and partner, Ken Reid. 
 
While the core of the platform is backed by distributed ledger technology (DLT), or blockchain, Origins also utilises internet of things (IoT) sensors, as well as data and analytics tools to boost “transparency and traceability” between trading partners. The platform's unique technology mix effectively reduces operational complexities, reconciliation challenges, and safety concerns for trading partners, Reid added. 

Speaking with FST Media, Laszlo Peter, KPMG's head of blockchain services for Asia Pacific, said, by tapping into a platform that is "fundamentally built on trusted and certified data assets", banks and insurers have "tremendous opportunities" to optimise their products and services and ensure ethical best practice. 
 
"Banks and insurance companies can access (once permissioned) these certified data assets and consider them in their counterparty or credit risk assessment models, design new products or services (like parametric insurance) or simply have a trusted signal as to the whereabouts of the assets they are financing or insuring." 
 
"For example, [the system could] help banks better time the release of working capital, or reduce invoice factoring issues, and consequently better manage their risks." 
 
"These new type of trusted data assets emanating from traceability platform like KPMG Origins will enable financial services organisations to better assess their ethical and sustainable practices and better engage with the community.” 
 
Peter said the ability to generate trusted and quality assessed data points is the platform's "secret sauce”, presenting opportunities for predictive modelling and scenario planning for a wide cross-section of industries. 
 
"Imagine that you could optimise for, prevent, or efficiently respond to a food disease outbreak by identifying and communicating new signals to producers about preventative measures or isolating cases in case something unfortunate happened," he said. 
 
KPMG said it had commenced its official roll-out of Origins across its Asia-Pacific branches following successful pilots in Australia, China and Japan. 
 
While currently no financial services organisations are involved in Origins' pilot phase, Peter said KPMG has discussed future collaboration possibilities with both banks and insurers. 
 
"We see tremendous opportunities by extending or connecting KPMG Origins with other initiatives such as trade finance, carbon trading, or commodities financing. The possibilities are really exciting in this space," Peter said. 
 
Among those currently trialling the Origins platform include CANEGROWERS, the peak body for Queensland’s sugarcane growers, SunRice, a grain exporter, and Mitchell Wines, a local riesling producer. 

CANEGROWERS is currently exploring the use of Origins to demonstrate sustainability credentials for sugar produced in the state as well as environmental sustainability practices – a particularly resonant concern for consumers.