The initiative, called Marco Polo (www.marcopolo.finance) comprised of a group of the world’s leading banks, together with trade finance technology specialist TradeIX and enterprise software firm R3, are piloting their trade finance solution leveraging distributed ledger technology following a successful proof-of-concept.
Following its launch in 2017, the initiative, has attracted significant interest from the global banking community, with additional banks including Standard Chartered, joining in recent months.
The Marco Polo initiative has developed a solution for post-shipment trade financing powered by the TiX platform from TradeIX and R3 Corda blockchain technology. It enables end-to-end, real-time, seamless connectivity between trade participants, eliminating the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.
Initially the solution is 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. It will be delivered via TradeIX’s TIX Platform, an open platform providing applications, technology tools and core infrastructure for the trade finance ecosystem.
The collective ambition is to expand the initiative in 2018 to include additional banks and third party service providers, such as credit insurers, ERP and logistics providers, leveraging the collaborative nature of the platform to create a fully interoperable open-sourced trade finance network.
Michael Vrontamitis, Head of Trade, Europe & Americas, Standard Chartered said: “The age of digital collaboration in trade finance has arrived and we see our participation in this initiative as an important component to accelerate this and drive financing deeper into global supply chains. This in turn enables greater avaibility of financing for small and medium enterprises.”
Connie Leung, Senior Director, Financial Services Business Lead – Asia, Microsoft said: “Heavy paper processing across complex supply chain processes are a significant burden to businesses. The industry has been looking for solutions to simplify and digitize trade, making supply chain ripe for the benefits of blockchain technology.” Yorke Rhodes III, Azure Blockchain Engineering, Microsoft added: “It is exciting to be part of the growing ecosystem building trade finance solutions on blockchain. Microsoft is honoured to be providing our global scale cloud as a foundation to R3 and TradeIX to speed this solution to market.”
TradeIX is rewiring the $8 trillion trade finance market with the TIX Platform, an open platform providing applications, technology tools, and core infrastructure for the trade finance ecosystem. The TIX Platform enables trade finance parties to more easily, flexibly and efficiently connect to the broader trade finance market, including suppliers, buyers, service providers, B2B networks, credit underwriters and financial institutions. The platform provides benefits to all trade finance parties through enhanced funding opportunities, lower cost and reduced risk. For more information visit: www.tradeix.com.
R3 is an enterprise software firm working with over 200 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop on Corda, its distributed ledger platform designed specifically for businesses. R3’s global team of over 140 professionals in nine countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. R3 recently announced the successful completion of the first 2 of 3 tranches in a Series A fundraise valued at USD 107 million.
Corda is the outcome of over two years of intense research and development by R3 and its members and meets the highest standards of the banking industry, yet is applicable to any commercial scenario. It records, manages and executes institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce.
We are a leading international banking group, with around 80,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.