Marco Polo, the blockchain-powered trade finance platform developed by R3 and TradeIX, has launched its first product following the completion of bank partners’ proof of concept.
Reports in Global Trade Review said on Wednesday (Sept. 19) that Marco Polo’s receivables discounting solution is now live on the platform. Banks participating in the initiative, including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING and Standard Chartered, can begin piloting the solution next month. According to TradeIX Co-founder and CEO Rob Barnes, those institutions will “soon after” be able to access a factoring solution.
The “final release” of Marco Polo will also be available when banks begin piloting the receivables discounting tool, Barnes noted.
“We wanted to get to a point where the corporates don’t have to go to different portals for different services,” Barnes said, adding that the platform will “give customers – whether they are a five-man organization or a Fortune 100 company – the ability to run and manage working capital based on what they need, where they need it and across the network.”
Reports noted that R3 and TradeIX have encountered a few “technical challenges” during Marco Polo’s platform demonstration at the CordaCon event held earlier this month. The platform was launched Sept. 17, but isn’t expected to be commercialized until next year. Before then, more banks will be able to join the platform and pilot the solution based on their specific needs in trade finance.
According to reports, Marco Polo’s main focus at the moment will be to secure new banking partners to finance the solution. In its second stage of development, Marco Polo will open itself up to third-party players like B2B networks, logistics players, credit insurers, payment networks and other service providers that are a part of the trade and finance community.
“The ecosystem with Marco Polo is really starting to expand,” Barnes added. “We will now be opening for new participants.”