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Standard Bank becomes first African bank to join the global blockchain-based Marco Polo Network

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Tue, 27 Aug 2019, 04:12 am UTC

Standard Bank, the largest bank in Africa by total assets, has unveiled membership in blockchain-based trade finance network, the Marco Polo Network.

As per a press release, the collaboration will see the bank being able to develop financial trade solutions together with global financial firms such as Dutch ING and BNP Paribas.

Standard Bank is constantly looking for ways to provide best-in-class trade finance products to our customers to help them grow their business and achieve their potential. Joining the Marco Polo Network and leveraging the best technology and practices in the sector, allows us to actively participate in building the future of trade financing,” Kevin Homes, Head, Trade, Product Management at Standard Bank, said.

Backed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank, Standard Bank becomes the first African bank to join the network. Currently, the Marco Polo Network counts around 20 financial firms, including Alfa Bank, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Bangkok Bank, Bayern LB, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Commerzbank, Danske Bank, DNB, Helaba, ING, LBBW, Natixis, Natwest, OP, Raiffeisen Bank, SMBC, S-Servicepartner, and Standard Chartered among its members.

Launched in 2017, the Marco Polo Network is a project of blockchain-based enterprises R3 and Irish tech firm TradeIX. It offers multi-asset class platform broker-dealer services and trades in different currencies, including equities, derivatives, and other related services.

The Marco Polo Network’s goal is to build the optimum trade finance environment that addresses critical market challenges, offers improved user experiences and constantly evolves to meet customer’s needs. Close collaboration between leading international financial institutions, their clients and business partners is critical to success,” Daniel Cotti, the Marco Polo Network’s Chief Network Officer, said.

In March, two commercial transactions that were done between international technology group Voith and pump and valve maker KSB SE have been conducted for the first time using Marco Polo. The pilot phase was launched in 2018 following a successful PoC conducted in 2017 with the consortium of banks.

More recently, logistics provider Logwin joined Commerzbank and LBBW on the project and executed a trade transaction between Voith and KSB SE via the Marco Polo Network. Logwin AG was directly incorporated into the digital process chain in real-time.

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