Yesterday Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), one of the biggest banks in Japan, announced the completion of its Proof of Concept (PoC) using the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance platform. Marco Polo is one of four major multinational blockchain trade finance platforms. It’s based on R3’s Corda distributed ledger with TradeIX as a key technology partner and is designed to help banks work with enterprise clients.
The Marco Polo platform currently supports receivables discounting, factoring and payment commitments. SMBC is the only Japanese member of the consortium. The other members that are participating include ING, Commerzbank, BNP Paribas, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, NatWest, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, OP Group, DNB, Danske Bank, and LBBW.
As part of the test, SMBC provided receivables finance and a payment commitment to fellow group company Mitsui & Co. The bank says if it proceeds, it will deploy Marco Polo by the end of September 2019.
In October 2018 SMBC participated in an NTT Data blockchain trade PoC with many other Japanese companies which also involved integration with the Singapore and Thai national trade and customs platforms.
Previously, in December 2017 the company ran a blockchain test with IBM for cross-border trade. That trial included several group companies such as Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.