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Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation completes blockchain-based trade finance trial

Photo: Bloomberg

Tue, 19 Feb 2019, 09:26 am UTC

Japanese banking giant Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) using Marco Polo, blockchain-based trade finance platform.

Launched in September 2017, Marco Polo is a platform developed by the world’s leading financial institutions and run by enterprise software firm R3 and trade finance technology specialist TradeIX. 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.

“With the release of the pilot software in September, over hundreds of transactions continue to be conducted in 10 countries on the Marco Polo Receivables Discounting and Payment Commitment software modules,” Marco Polo said in an online post.

Powered by open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Corda blockchain technology, the platform has “the flexibility to expand to accommodate additional modules, providing paperless, real-time connectivity and easier access,” SMBC said.

In a press release dated February 18, SMBC said that it is the only Japanese bank among 15 consortium member banks.

“[The] PoC was conducted between SMBC and Mitsui & Co. which aims to improve productivity in its trade operations, by testing modules such as Receivable Finance and Payment Commitment (Payment Undertaking),” it added.

“SMBC expects to commercialize Marco Polo in the first half of (the financial year 2019) after verification of the PoC.”

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