The R3 team in front of the R3 booth at the Sibos conference
The R3 team in front of the R3 booth at the Sibos conference in London on September 24, 2019. David E. Rutter/R3

Trade finance network Marco Polo, developed by enterprise blockchain firm R3, has completed its largest financial trial, the consortium announced on 12 December.

According to the press release, the trial included more than 70 organizations from 25 countries, and involved upwards of 340 participants from sectors like financial services, information technology, telecommunications, logistics, the maritime industry, real estate, hospitality and the automotive industry.

A survey was conducted as part of the trial, according to which 100% of participants claimed that blockchain-based trade finance and working capital tools can accelerate the receivables discounting process, and reduce costs for both banks and corporations.

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For the trial, the Marco Polo Network deployed working capital applications, developed by TradeIX, which focused on receivables finance solution. Receivables financing, also called factoring, is a way for firms to optimize their working capital, mitigate credit risks and improve liquidity.

According to the press release, the goal of the product was to increase connectivity and efficiency, while at the same time decrease the onboarding costs. Marco Polo has stated that users, with only a day of training, were able to complete more than 700 funding requests.

Participating in the joint trial were banks such as Dutch bank ABN AMRO, Mexican bank Banorte, Boston-based Citizens Bank, Frankfurt-based Commerzbank, Hong-Kong based Bank of East Asia and the Saudi British Bank.

Also participating in the trial were corporations such as BMW, Saudi Arabia-based International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, financial services institute SüdFactoring, Tokyo-based trading company Sumitomo Corporation, SBI Holdings, and R3 Corda Japanese venture SBI R3 Japan.

Launched in 2017, the Marco Polo Network aims to create real-time settlements and transparency in trading relationships. Founded by R3 and TradeIX, it is a consortium of major global financial and banking institutions, which to date is comprised of 31 members.

Among its members are Bank of America, Mastercard, automaker Daimler, BNP Paribas, Dutch ING, and French Credit Agricole.

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