Digital escrow service by Tazapay launched for SMEs on marketplace network Proxtera

BUSINESS-to-business (B2B) marketplace network Proxtera and digital-payments platform Tazapay have partnered to offer a digital escrow service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to trade globally.

The pandemic has exacerbated challenges in conducting cross-border trade, as companies are unable to meet physically to establish trust and strike deals. The digital escrow service, called Proxtera Protect, powered by Tazapay, will enable SMEs to transact more confidently with new trade partners they meet on B2B e-commerce marketplaces within the Proxtera network.

Tazapay provides secure background checks on the buyer and seller, and holds the funds until both parties confirm delivery and receipt of goods. If a shipment does not arrive, the monies are returned to the buyer.

Tazapay chief executive Rahul Shinghal noted that SMEs' business growth and trade are often hampered by the lack of trust around shipments and payments. He said: "We're pleased to power Proxtera Protect and grow alongside Proxtera as both entities focus on their missions to elevate the local economy by empowering SMEs with global trade opportunities."

Proxtera is the commercialisation of the Business sans Borders initiative launched in 2018 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority. So far, it has helped approximately 300,000 SMEs connect with new trading partners across Singapore, the Philippines, India and Kenya. It also offers digital tools and services to help SMEs access, evaluate and act on business opportunities more quickly.

Proxtera programme director Shirish Jain said Proxtera Protect is crucial to "bridge the trust gap that hinders cross-border trade", complementing Proxtera's goal of unlocking new trade and business opportunities for SMEs globally.

"With the addition of trusted partners such as Tazapay, Proxtera can deliver on its promise to provide SMEs a wealth of business tools and opportunities at their fingertips, opening up pathways to growth and driving economic recovery to help businesses thrive in the 'new normal'," he said.