BanQu, a for-profit/for-purpose blockchain-as-a-service software company, has secured a strategic partnership with RSM Spain, the Spanish member firm of RSM International. The latter is a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 41,000 people in 116 countries.
Luis Portabella, partner of RSM Spain Consulting, comments: “We have all heard of blockchain and many companies are thinking of introducing this technology in their businesses, however, until now we had no record of a tangible product developed and with live references in the market.
“BanQu provides a great added value to the company in its supply chains, to make its logistic processes more efficient and fulfill its social responsibility objectives. In turn, consumers obtain guarantees of the origin of the product; society wins in social justice, big corporations like ABInBev, JT International and Mars are already using the BanQu platform.”
What is in it for RSM?
RSM Spain will use the partnership to open up new market opportunities across European supply chains with BanQu, which it sees as being a non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform. The benefits to businesses like RSM Spain, lie in:
- end-to-end supply chain transparency
- compliance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The alliance between BanQu and RSM Spain will provide an immutable ledger of information about a RSM Spain client’s supply chain(s). This will, by using BanQu’s ‘track and trace’ feature, include guaranteeing:
- the origin of raw materials
- all successor processes.
The partnership will, RSM Spain hopes:
- open up additional economic opportunities and visibility into the last link in the supply chain, the ‘last mile
- establish efficiency gains for the RSM brand
- deliver transparency to consumers.
BanQu’ stated aim is “to help lift 100-million of the world’s 2.7 billion unbanked and underbanked people out of extreme poverty by 2023” – through the application of its blockchain platform. BanQu has operations live in Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, Uganda, the United States and Zambia. It expects future rollouts in Nigeria, China and Mexico later in 2019.
The BanQu technology seeks to deliver a blockchain platform where refugees, the displaced and the world’s poorest can maintain a free, secure online profile. It is that profile which will enable them to track both relationships and transactions.
Over time, these refugees, the displaced and the world’s poorest can establish a recognizable, vetted economic identity. That identity is the base prerequisite to participate in ownership and transactions as part of the global economy. By maintaining ownership of personal information, a BanQu user decides what information to share and with whom. In effect this enables people to control their own Economic Identity, creating what BanQu calls ‘Dignity Through Identity’.
For example, in June 2018, BanQu piloted a partnership with the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev. This involves connecting 2,000 Zambian farmers to a mobile platform as they harvest and sell a projected 2,000 tonnes of cassava, a high-quality starch used in beer. Focusing on creating transparency and traceability in the cassava crop value chain provides:
- economic empowerment to the region’s small-scale farmers
- leading brands (Anheuser-Busch InBev) with improved supply chain management
- enhanced ROI (through asset provenance).
Ashish Gadnis, Co-Founder and CEO of BanQu, comments: “The BanQu platform is now live in 12 countries across multiple brand supply chains, impacting nearly 200,000 last mile beneficiaries to date. We’re now operating at a level of maturity and commercial success that allows us to scale to the next level by adopting a robust channel partnership.
“RSM Spain is the perfect partner to get BanQu a strong foothold in both the Spanish and European markets. With some of the biggest global brands looking to BanQu for transparency, traceability and efficiency in their supply chains, all while meeting key UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this is both a wonderful and critical partnership for us.”
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
RSM Spain’s partnership with BanQu brings supply chain transparency, traceability and sustainability to Spanish (and EU) markets. By enabling supply chain transparency, traceability and efficiency through non-crypto blockchain technology, while simultaneously meeting their Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), RSM Spain adds capabilities relevant to its clients, one which other competing firms might not possess.
An acute attraction for the BanQu/RSM Spain tie up is the absence of a dependence on cryptocurrencies (a feature which Enterprise Times approves of). This contrasts with various supply chain initiatives dependent on cryptocurrencies though there are others, like IBM’s Food Trust which also are not.