ITFA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE AND FORUM by ITFA



ITFA has recently launched its new website which it encourages members to visit and explore.

The new mobile-friendly site has been designed to offer improved navigation and functionality, while allowing visitors to better understand the ways in which ITFA serves the trade finance industry.

“The site has been revamped and modernised and now provides better interaction, an upgraded search function and a great browsing experience,” says ITFA Deputy Chair and Head of Communication and Membership, Lorna Pillow. “The site is one of ITFA’s primary tools for communicating with our members, so it was imperative to ensure that it was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.”

Created with an enhanced user experience in mind, the site includes many new features, including:

A new Forum for ITFA members: “We would like to encourage our members – including our Emerging Leaders – to make use of this new function,” says Pillow. She explains that the Forum provides a platform for members to engage in discussions with their peers, and is a means of both contributing ideas and ensuring “visibility” in the market. “The idea behind this Forum is to get members involved and talking about trending and important current topics with one another.”

Topics could also include technical questions – such as related to the BAFT MPA – and problems that members may encounter on particular transactions, for which ITFA could offer an opinion. “As you know, ITFA can also provide arbitration facilities – but we’re hardly ever asked to do so,” says Pillow. “Obviously if any topics on the Forum are of a sensitive nature then these will be discussed in private.”

An improved search function: All content, including ITFA’s technical publications, documented industry initiatives and events, have been appropriately categorised and tagged to ensure that they are easily accessible. “This is what required the most work – we transferred around 800 documents in the Member Area from the old website,” explains Pillow. “Events and papers from a few years ago were practically lost in the old website, but are now easy to retrieve.”

A brand new “Trade & Forfaiting” section: As an introduction to the market, the new site provides an overview of the trade dilemma (the interactions between buyers and sellers and the issues they face), associated risks (transport, currency, documentary and country) and gives basic understanding of the products that underpin trade finance. This section was contributed by the winners of the 2019 ITFA Young Trade Financier Awards, as announced at the Annual Conference in Budapest. “This new section is incredibly helpful, especially as ITFA has progressed from being more than a forfaiting association,” says Pillow.

Updated sponsorship opportunities: ITFA has adapted its tiered sponsorship structure and now profiles one gold (LFC), two silver (Sullivan and Willis Towers Watson) and five bronze (Greensill, Swiss Re, Liberty Specialty Markets, ADCB, HSBC) sponsors. “The idea is to use the website to give exposure to our sponsors,” says Pillow.

Other highlights of the new site include the ITFA videos (a new feature for 2019) and the Events Gallery. Looking ahead to 2020, Pillow explains that the next project to be tackled will be the monthly ITFA newsletter, which will be updated to enable better access and engagement with the association’s members and followers.

The new site can be viewed at https://itfa.org/. Any feedback is very welcome.