Digitalisation helps companies meet international challenges
Monday 18 October 2021
Italian businesses are increasingly facing competition in international markets. We explore how innovative digital services can help tackle this challenge with insights by Emilio Spera and Guido Pusterla Cortesini from our Internationalisation team.
UniCredit is proud to be an active member of the Trade Club Alliance, a network of banks that extends its reach to over 50 countries to support their corporate clients’ business activities.
As a result of this participation, our bank has developed two digital services for Italian companies - UniCredit Trade Portal and UniCredit Trade Club. The aim is to make it easier for businesses that are both our customers and aren’t to explore foreign markets and find qualified counterparts.
To date, these services have only been tested in some Italian regions, but from October 2021 they will also be accessible to corporate clients throughout the whole country and will soon be available in Austria and Germany as well.
The Network's most significant figures:
We put a few questions to Emilio Spera, Offer and Digital Development Coordinator, and Guido Pusterla Cortesini, Product Manager of UniCredit Trade Portal and UniCredit Trade Club.
Hi Emilio, May 2021 saw the conclusion of the pilot in three regions in Italy, which was followed by the commercial launch of the two digital services. What was the feedback from businesses?
The pilot customers appreciated the two new services because they provide information, tools and functions that are intuitive to use to grow abroad: country cards, import/export flows, market studies, trade fairs, associations, marketplaces, export controls and others.
Hi Guido, can Digital Services for internationalisation help businesses in this difficult phase of economic recovery?
Certainly yes. A client who has already evolved internationally can develop new business opportunities abroad with qualified counterparts. At the same time, companies that have recently entered the import/export business can access a very comprehensive repository to deepen their knowledge of foreign markets and better understand where to focus their efforts.
Back to Emilio. What is the advantage for companies to access a network such as the Trade Club Alliance?
Getting in touch with qualified counterparts with the support of leading banks in complex markets avoids wasting time looking for new partners. Recently, for example, Bank of China joined the Trade Club Alliance, opening up the entire network to the Chinese market.
Finally, Guido, the last question. Which were the major difficulties in developing UniCredit Trade Portal and UniCredit Trade Club?
The main challenges in implementing the two digital services were the automation of internal processes, to ensure rapid response times for businesses, and integration with the international digital platform, ensuring high levels of IT security, which is a must for our bank.
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UniCredit Trade Portal and UniCredit Trade Club services are offered by UniCredit S.p.A. and implemented by Export Entreprises as Technical Supplier of the Service. Both services are offered free of charge to UniCredit's business customers, excluding self-employed people and sole proprietorships. In order to guarantee a selected business environment, all Trade Club Alliance partner banks must follow accurate guidelines regarding the eligibility and permanence of client companies within the community (e.g. rating class, absence of prejudicial elements, blacklists and Anty money laundery histories).