Financial creativity and innovative risk cover by EKN and its Danish sister agency also helps fuel green energy in the North Sea.
Up until now, it was virtually impossible to obtain buyer credits of less than 10 million euro. Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has changed this with eSPEEDTRACK, a fast-lane digital financing solution for export credits between 2 and 10 million euros.
It all started with an idea sparked by a panel discussion moderated by EKN at the GTR Nordic Trade Conference in November 2018. In the audience was RBI’s Head of Export Finance, Petra Rauscher, who recalls the moment: “The panel members all told the same story – banks were not providing buyer credits for smaller tickets of under 10 million euro, which is a pity because a lot of exporters focus on selling such goods. When I came back from the conference I thought about finding a solution.”
One year later, the solution, eSPEEDTRACK, was up and running. Through eSPEEDTRACK the bank can offer financing with favourable terms for smaller tickets and remove the complexity that is usually associated with export credits for high volume transactions.
“We had to streamline our internal processes and standardise them as much as possible, working with a digital platform,” says Rauscher. “It is important to keep the process straightforward and not make exceptions for each case because if you have to touch a 2 million transaction seven times it is no longer affordable for a bank,” she says, explaining how eSPEEDTRACK has made the financing faster, easier and more cost effective to run.
With the eSPEEDTRACK platform, exporters in RBI’s region (mainly Western Europe) can offer buyers around the world small ticket lending. Importers register and request a quote online. “We review the request and submit it to the various ECAs (Export Credit Agencies) who then analyse it via the platform and give us a preliminary offer,” says Rauscher. “We get all the necessary information, which allows us to be transparent, fast, compliant and cost efficient.”
RBI has also digitised the Know Your Customer (KYC) process by offering eKYC, video identification, standard documentation and a fast lane approval process for eSPEEDTRACK to streamline the export credit process.
EKN onboard with system
Sweden’s EKN was one of a few export credit agencies involved in the development of the new system to help ensure that it would be user friendly, transparent and compliant. “We basically developed this platform together with EKN,” says Rauscher, adding that Swedish exporters are very happy to finally have a bank that provides financing for their importers even in the case of lower volume transactions.
“There is just one other bank offering small tickets and it’s only for German exporters but we can do the credits for all western European exporters once we have onboarded their ECAs,” says Rauscher. Asked why most banks are reluctant to finance smaller tickets, she says, “I think it might be that their internal processes are not so easy to standardise and if you don’t have the digital support in place it probably won’t work. You have to invest time and money as a bank to create these digital tools but the investment is worth it.”