R3 and TradeIX's trade finance efficiency project “Marco Polo” announced on December 12 that it has succeeded in the largest pilot project ever. More than 340 people from financial institutions and companies from more than 25 countries on five continents cooperated in the test. Conducted over 7 weeks. The majority of the participants said that “there is a significant improvement in the industry”.
Marco Polo is one of the projects that represents R3's corporate blockchain technology Corda. Digitalize contracts in trade finance, and use blockchains to improve the efficiency of document exchange between member companies and financial institutions. Traditional trade finance involves a huge amount of paper exchange. Improving the efficiency of those operations that require a large amount of human resources and time can be expected to greatly reduce costs.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has participated in the project as a domestic financial institution and has been informed of the implementation of the demonstration experiment. The bank plans to commercialize it in 2019. In addition, Mitsubishi UFJ and SBI Holdings are participating.
In this test, operators who have been trained for about a day can now make over 700 invoices. It showed that it can be easily introduced without requiring advanced digital skills.
When the survey participants were surveyed, all respondents said they were “effective in accelerating and improving operations and reducing costs for both banks and businesses.” Furthermore, 75% of respondents set the goal of commercialization within 5 years.