Marco Polo, a blockchain-based platform for open-account trade finance created by TradeIX and R3 in collaboration with leading global banks, is to move into a live pilot phase following a successful six month proof of concept.
Since launching in September 2017, with 12 banks including BNP, Commerzbank and ING at the core, the initiative is being opened out to other financial institutions and third party service providers, such as credit insurers, ERP and logistics providers.
Standard Chartered, DNB, and OP Financial Group are the first new banking partners to join the project.
Focused on three distinct areas of trade finance - risk mitigation by provision of payment commitments based on the matching of trade data, payables finance, and receivables finance - the initiative aims for end-to-end, real-time, connectivity between trade participants and elimination of the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.
Ivar Wiersma, head of innovation ING Wholesale Banking, says: “The tests ING ran as part of the proof-of-concept enabled us to see the value this solution could deliver in three separate areas of trade financing. The technology ran fast and smoothly and the positive results showed us we are on the right track and ready to take the next step by entering into a pilot.”