Indian IT giant Infosys is partnering with seven of India’s major banks to develop blockchain technology to bring new efficiencies in trade and supply chain finance.

Infosys Finacle, a subsidiary of the group, has formed a trade network called India Trade Connect (ITC) in partnership with Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank, South Indian Bank and Yes Bank.

The blockchain-based network has been designed to digitise trade finance business processes and covers areas that include ownership validation, certification of documents and payments.

ITC is being used by the banks for a pilot project, using blockchain to increase automation and transparency and help manage trade and supply chain financing-related risks. Infosys says that ITC is built on Finacle Trade Connect and is “agnostic to underlying blockchain infrastructure such as Hyperledger, Corda, Ethereum and Bitcoin” in order to future-proof the network against future changes in technology.

Sanat Rao, chief business officer at Infosys Finacle, said he hopes more banks will join the consortium and learn about the potential benefits of blockchain systems. “Digitisation of trade finance processes using distributed ledger technology (DLT) offers immense potential; to eliminate the friction, cut costs and increase revenue through new business products that are now viable using the modern technologies,” he added.

ICICI bank, which recently announced a blockchain initiative for domestic and international trade finance involving over 250 companies, said that the partnership “will enable automation, increase transparency as well as enhance efficiency across trade and supply chain operations.”