NatWest joins trade finance network Marco Polo
17 July 2018 (Paris/New York/London) – NatWest has today announced that it has joined Marco Polo, the trade finance platform that uses blockchain technology to dramatically 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, a trade finance initiative that has become the largest network of commercial banks in the trade finance market. Banks, including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, DNB and OP Financial Group are working with technology companies R3 and TradeIX in an effort to make trade finance smarter, more transparent and better connected.
Rowan Austin, Head of Trade & Working Capital Product at NatWest said: “We are really excited to be joining the Marco Polo network and making an important step forward that will 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 momentum around Marco Polo continues to build. We’re delighted to see NatWest join the growing network of financial institutions working together with R3 and TradeIX to bring much needed transparency and efficiency to trade finance,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3.
Marco Polo is focusing on a state-of-the-art trade finance platform for global working capital needs that helps minimise the risks of making and receiving payments 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 offer participants and 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, CFO and Bank Partner Relationships at TradeIX. “We are very excited to have NatWest part of Marco Polo of forward-looking leaders who are building the trade finance network of the future today.”
NatWest serves customers in England, Wales and Western Europe, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement.
Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support.
R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem of more than 200 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.
R3’s global team of over 180 professionals in 13 countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. R3 is backed by investment of over USD 120 million from more than 45 firms.
The Corda platform is already being used in industries from financial services to healthcare, shipping, insurance and more. It records, manages and executes institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce. www.r3.com
About TradeIX TradeIX is rewiring the $8 trillion trade finance market with the TIX Platform, an open platform providing applications, technology tools, and core infrastructure for the trade finance ecosystem. The TIX Platform enables trade finance parties to more easily, flexibly and efficiently connect to the broader trade finance market, including suppliers, buyers, service providers, B2B networks, credit underwriters and financial institutions. The platform provides benefits to all trade finance parties through enhanced funding opportunities, lower cost and reduced risk. For more information visit: www.tradeix.com
Nick Warren/Nick Murray-Leslie
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