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Russia’s Alfa-Bank joins trade finance blockchain consortium ‘Marco Polo’

Photo: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters/Newscom

Thu, 07 Mar 2019, 11:58 am UTC

Russian banking giant Alfa-Bank has joined Marco Polo, a trade finance initiative run by enterprise software firm R3 and trade finance technology specialist TradeIX.

Launched in September 2017, Marco Polo is a platform developed by the world’s leading financial institutions. Banking members include ING, Commerzbank, BNP Paribas, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, NatWest, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, and others.

The Marco Polo pilot phase was launched last year after a successful PoC conducted in 2017 with the consortium of banks.

Powered by open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Corda blockchain technology, the Marco Polo Network aims to facilitate trade and working capital finance solutions between banks and their corporate clients in order to improve customer experience and enable seamless data integration, while reducing costs, time and risk.

The blockchain-based trade finance platform allows banks to easily integrate into trade orchestrations bringing in ERP, procure to pay, logistics, payment, and insurance data real-time into the transactions.

Dina Merkulova, Head of Trade Finance, Alfa-Bank, said that the Marco Polo Network is “the most advanced and forward-looking trade finance and blockchain technology consortium which makes it the best partner to succeed.”

“In line with our objective to offer to our clients the best trade and supply chain finance services, we are looking to leverage the newest technology, including open APIs and distributed ledger technology (DLT), to deliver end-to-end solutions, better customer experience and optimize international supply chain transactions,” she said.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3 said that the Marco Polo initiative will improve efficiency and transparency while offering Alfa-Bank access to a wide range of trade finance solutions.

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