Today the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network announced the addition of the National Australia Bank (NAB) as its first Australian participant. The bank claims to be the biggest business bank in the country. The Marco Polo project aims to address many of the inefficiencies currently found in the trade finance sector, particularly the numerous manual processes, which slow things down and a lack of transparency.
Marco Polo is already live on the R3 Corda Network. But none of the 25 or so participants are in production as yet. However, a launch in the near future is likely. Lately, there have been multiple live pilots. These included a transaction between German engineering firm Dürr as supplier to Daimler with LBBW as the banking partner. Russia’s Alfa-Bank and Germany’s Commerzbank have also recently conducted a pilot together, as have SMBC and Bangkok Bank in Asia.
Cathryn Carver from NAB said: “With trade practices evolving rapidly, NAB is focused on increasing efficiencies through trade process digitization.”
Marco Polo differentiates itself from some of the other blockchain trade finance networks because of its integration with enterprise ERP systems, bringing trade finance options to the fingertips of a corporate treasurer.
“With NAB onboard as the first Australian partner, we are a step closer to our goal of making trade and working capital finance smarter, more transparent, and better connected for our members,” said Tawfique Hamid, Chief Revenue Officer at TradeIX, the technology provider for Marco Polo.
The project has announced numerous member additions in recent months including Bank of America and Mastercard. The current list of participants is Alfa Bank, Anglo Gulf Trade Bank, Bank of America, Bangkok Bank, Bayern LB, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Commerzbank, Danske Bank, DNB, Helaba, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, LBBW, Mastercard, National Bank of Fujairah, Natixis, Natwest, OP, Raiffeisen Bank, SMBC, S-Servicepartner, Standard Bank, and Standard Chartered.