AWDC ties-up with two FinTech companies

 AWDC ties up with two FinTech companiesIn 2015, Antwerp’s total trade value in diamonds decline from 58.8 billion dollars in 2014 to 48.3 billion dollars in 2015, or a drop of around 18 percent. Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) noted that the entire diamond trade in the world is under duress, and last year, while Antwerp did face its challenges, competitors such as India and Israel endured much steeper declines.

Thus, AWDC is incorporating some new approaches. It is turning to new technologies to meet the industry’s alternative financial services needs for international transactions. In this vein, it is starting a pilot program with two FinTech companies to offer international transactions that are fast, transparent and instant.

AWDC CEO Ari Epstein said, “The global diamond industry took a beating this year. Thanks to our strong foundations and ability to be agile and adopt innovative new technologies, Antwerp has succeeded in safeguarding its world-leading position with regard to rough as well as polished diamonds. Antwerp will consequently emerge from this downturn in a position of strength, poised for a profitable year ahead.”

He added, “The international terrain on which the Antwerp diamond industry does business means that we, as the industry’s representative organization, are always searching for new technologies and ways to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. Last autumn we organized a Diamond Equity Investment Symposium, together with Morgan Stanley, with the objective being to promote transparency to institutional investors that are considering investing in the diamond industry. Today we announce that this has resulted in a concrete cooperation agreement with two FinTech companies: Uphold and FX4BIZ.”

A total of 60 diamond companies will be able to sign up for these two pilot projects that will run for a full year. AWDC will be holding a seminar to explain the project to the diamond companies.

Uphold CEO Anthony Watson said, “With Uphold, AWDC and its thousands of trading partners can move, hold, transact, clear and settle in any currency or form of value they choose – all securely with real-time transparency and traceability. By removing all forex spreads, costs and settlement delays from AWDC’s $50bn yearly diamond trade, Uphold will save AWDC trading partners tens of millions of dollars every year. Uphold’s unique next generation platform allows AWDC trading partners and dealers to immediately transact, clear and settle all trades in over 190 countries with zero waiting, delays or limitations. In addition, we shall be opening our 3rd European office here in Antwerp: staffed locally (initially 6 hires), it will directly support AWDC and their trading partners on the ground and globally.”

FX4BIZ CFO Patrick Mollard said: “As a Belgian Payment Service Provider (PSP) licensed by the National Bank of Belgium we feel honored to have been selected to enter into such a cooperation agreement. We are highly motivated to work with AWDC in building a tailor-made and sustainable bank infrastructure for this industry.”

Comments are closed.