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Thursday 18 July 2019


NatWest joins trade finance network Marco Polo

Written by Peter Walker

NatWest has joined Marco Polo, the trade finance platform that uses blockchain technology to reduce the costs, risks and time involved in businesses trading with each other.

The initiative is coordinated by the financial technology firm TradeIX and R3 to collaboratively apply emerging blockchain technology to the global trade finance market.

NatWest is the latest bank member to join Marco Polo, which already has BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, DNB and OP Financial Group as members.

Rowan Austin, head of trade and working capital product at NatWest, said this is important step to help reduce much of the time, expense and uncertainty in conducting international trade. “We want to leverage distributed ledger technology for our clients and the best way to achieve this is through global collaboration with other financial institutions and leading technology providers.”

The founding mandate from bank members of Marco Polo is to better serve trade customers’ needs by converging the physical, information and financial supply chains with digital trade data to enable easier access to credit, minimize risk and increase transparency through a global digital platform.

The platform is powered by R3’s Corda blockchain technology and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) purpose-built for the global trade ecosystem. It allows banks to easily integrate into trade orchestrations bringing in ERP, procure to pay, logistics, payment, insurance data, real-time into the transactions.

“Today, corporate clients expect highly-connected platforms that can accelerate corporate growth by improving working capital with an asset-agnostic trade finance engine that supports the entire asset lifecycle and access to broader funding providers,” said Daniel Cotti, chief financial officer at TradeIX.

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