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Standard Bank becomes first South African bank to join Marco Polo Network

The Marco Polo Network and Standard Bank Group have announced that Standard Bank has joined the Marco Polo Network, the trade finance network focused on bringing efficiencies to trade financing.

Powered by the distributed platform from TradeIX and R3’s Corda blockchain technology, the Marco Polo Network provides a more rapid and secure way to access working capital and efficient solution to provide trade finance. It brings to the market an integrated solution to overcome trade finance challenges including lack of connectivity, time-consuming processes and high onboarding costs.

Standard Bank will participate in the development of this trade finance undertaking alongside financial institutions such as BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, LBBW, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, Danske Bank, NatWest, DNB, OP Financial Group, Alfa Bank, Bayern LB, Helaba, S-Servicepartner, RBI, and Bradesco.   

“Standard Bank is constantly looking for ways to provide best-in-class trade finance products to our customers to help them grow their business and achieve their potential,” said Kevin Holmes, head, Trade, Product Management at Standard Bank. “Joining the Marco Polo Network and leveraging the best technology and practices in the sector, allows us to actively participate in building the future of trade financing.” 

R3’s distributed ledger technology enables all parties to share information across the network securely and in real time. The Marco Polo Network also leverages application program interface (APIs) and offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) embedded working capital and trade finance applications to streamline communication and integration with existing systems.

“Corda distributed ledger technology guarantees traceability, consensus between parties, and the immutability of shared records. It is the most-suited platform for the banking community to truly enhance their trade finance products.” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3.

“The Marco Polo Network’s goal is to build the optimum trade finance environment that addresses critical market challenges, offers improved user experiences and constantly evolves to meet customer’s needs”, said Daniel Cotti, chief network officer of the Marco Polo Network. “Close collaboration between leading international financial institutions, their clients and business partners is critical to success. Welcoming Standard Bank as a new member of our fast-growing network is another key step to deliver on our mission.”

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