Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has announced it will pilot R3’s Marco Polo blockchain network for trade finance, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 8.
As previously reported, Marco Polo — which is powered by R3’s Corda enterprise blockchain platform — counts major international banks such as BNP Paribas, ING and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as members. Other prominent bank members include Standard Chartered Bank and NatWest, according to today’s press release.
RBI has reportedly been eyeing expansion in the Central and Eastern Europe market, after reporting a consolidated profit of 1.27 billion euros (around $142 billion) — up 14% year-on-year — in 2018.
As the release notes, Marco Polo leverages a distributed trade finance platform from TradeIX alongside Corda and aims to bring greater cost and time efficiency, as well as transparency, to commercial banks’ traditional and structured trade finance solutions.
In a statement, Daniel Cotti — managing director at the RBI Center of Excellence, Banking & Trade — said that the bank is looking to considerably expand its geographic coverage and help to drive Marco Polo as the main trade finance network in Europe and the fasting growing globally.
R3 CEO David E. Rutter underscored that “the current infrastructure that underlies trade finance is outdated and in need of investment and modernisation.” The blockchain-powered platform offers technological solutions such as APIs and an ERP-embedded application to innovate working capital offerings, the press release states.
As Cointelegraph has reported, Marco Polo successfully conducted its first live trade finance operations in March 2019 in an operation involving two German firms and major local bank Commerzbank.
A competitor trade finance blockchain platform, IBM-powered We.trade, made its commercial debut in 2018.