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Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to launch services on Marco Polo blockchain

Photo: Bloomberg

Thu, 25 Apr 2019, 11:56 am UTC

Japanese banking giant Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) will roll out blockchain-based trade finance services in the latter half of 2019, CoinDesk reported.

Speaking at a recent fintech seminar in Tokyo, SMBC’s vice chairman Yasuyuki Kawasaki said that the new services for import and export companies will be launched using the Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform.

The announcement follows a successful proof-of-concept (PoC) completed in February this year. SMBC said at the time that the platform has “the flexibility to expand to accommodate additional modules, providing paperless, real-time connectivity and easier access.”

SMBC is the only Japanese bank among Marco Polo’s 15 member banks, which includes ING, Commerzbank, BNP Paribas, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, NatWest, and others. 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.

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

In a press release dated April 25, Marco Polo said that BayernLB, Helaba and S-Servicepartner have joined its Network for piloting and evaluating purposes.

Organizations from around the world are increasingly exploring blockchain potential to enhance trade finance processes. In addition to Marco Polo, other blockchain-focused trade finance initiatives include Voltron and We.Trade.

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