This week, Germany’s S-Servicepartner and Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) completed a pilot transaction using the Marco Polo trade finance network.
The transaction involved receivables financing, for the trade of pharmaceuticals between pharma manufacturer Dr August Wolff and Austrian pharma wholesaler s.a.m. Pharma Handel. The savings bank Sparkasse Bielefeld and RBI represented the businesses in their respective countries.
S-Servicepartner is a back-office service provider for the majority of Germany’s saving banks and enables them to access the Marco Polo network. The firm is currently testing the Marco Polo network with select banks and their medium-sized customers. Until now, most pilots over Marco Polo have been carried out by large enterprises.
“This is the first transaction in a pilot series with savings banks with which we want to make an important contribution towards production maturity,” says Jürgen Nagel, a member of the Management Board of S-Servicepartner Berlin.
The ultimate client was the pharmaceutical manufacturer.“The Wolff Group, which is always interested in cutting edge innovations, sees an opportunity for the future to raise considerable efficiency potentials and significantly improve transparency in the entire process, from ordering to payment”, said Tanja Niedenführ, Head of Finance and Accounting.
This was also RBI’s first transaction using the Marco Polo network. “Marco Polo best suited our strategy as the platform combines traditional trade finance products with new blockchain-based solutions such as Payment Commitment,” says Stefan Andjelic, RBI Blockchain Hub Lead.
A key feature of the Marco Polo platform is the combination of open-account trade financing and the integration with existing ERP systems, which currently supports Microsoft Dynamics 365, Xero, and Oracle Netsuite. Marco Polo’s solution includes receivables discounting, payment commitment and payables financing. R3’s Corda blockchain underpins the platform, with the development by TradeIX.
The platform is currently live, but banks are still in the pilot phase with the first expected to launch soon. Many other participants such as Alfa-Bank, Commerzbank and LBBW have carried out pilot projects on the platform.
Marco Polo has several high-profile members. The full list includes Alfa Bank, Anglo Gulf Trade Bank, Bank of America, Bangkok Bank, Bayern LB, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Danske Bank, DNB, Helaba, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, LBBW, Mastercard, MUFG, National Bank of Fujairah, National Australia Bank, Natixis, Natwest, OP Financial, Raiffeisen Bank, SMBC, S-Servicepartner, Standard Bank, and Standard Chartered.