Amazon set for soft launch ahead of Black Friday sales
Amazon finally looks like switching on operations in Australia after an internal email to its marketplace vendors was leaked.
Obtained by Lifehacker, it told sellers to be ready to go online for 2pm AEST on Thursday, just in time for the Black Friday shopping frenzy.
While it is not a full launch, it is thought that as many as 500 retailers will be up and running, although the volume and nature of the products on sale is not yet know.
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Numerous technology-related products have been listed on the Australian Amazon site already, including laptops and electronic cables. Such products may be heavily discounted amid talk that the US ecommerce giant aims to generate an immediate footprint in terms of sales.
Customers in Australian can already order products from oversees, but the establishment of locally-based warehouses will greatly reduce shipping costs and turnaround times, something which other big retailers are responding to.
In terms of real estate, Amazon has a nine-storey office in Sydney’s financial district and said in August it had chosen a site in Melbourne to house a distribution warehouse. The east coast is undoubtedly a focal point for the company, unsurprising given around 80% of Australians are settled there.
DBS Bank expands digital trade finance on Contour platform
DBS Bank has boosted its digitalisation extending its offerings on trade finance network Contour to corporate customers in four key Asia-Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Singapore-based DBS was the first bank to sign up to Contour’s beta network and completed the first fully digital Letter of Credit (LC) transaction on Contour last year. The bank has moved to Contour’s production network to offer streamlined digital LC transactions for customers, to help digitise global trade.
Contour’s network focuses on digitising paper-based trade finance processes which can be expensive and time-consuming.
APAC is seen as a key region for digitisation of trade finance as banks and corporates seek to mitigate risk and enhance cost efficiency, including moving away from traditional paper-based LC processes.
Via Contour, which is also based in Singapore, DBS will be able to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process for customers in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents – increasing efficiency in the process by up to 90%.
Digitised trade finance builds resilient ecosystem
“Our partnership with Contour aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for our corporate customers,” said Sriram Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank.
“We recognise that digitisation is a powerful enabler to simplify the highly complex nature of trade finance, especially for processes relating to letters of credit. Digitising trade processes is also an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for corporates to survive and thrive in the new normal and will form an integral component for resilient trade ecosystems of the future.”
Contour’s decentralised network increases security as it validates all identities and leverages technology partners to match trade documents to real-time data. Contour also offers a sustainable way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
“The addition of another major Asian bank to our production network highlights Contour’s growing presence in APAC as an industry standard for digitising trade finance documentation,” said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour.
“DBS has been an important partner for Contour in our work to support Singapore’s position as a key trading hub and has already participated in a number of successful transactions on our network. We’re delighted to facilitate its transition to offering live services to customers in these four markets. This is another important step on our journey to becoming the new digital end-to-end infrastructure for global trade.”