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BNY Mellon Joins Trade Finance Blockchain Marco Polo Aiming to Go Live Quickly

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by Wanguba Muriuki · 3 min read
BNY Mellon Joins Trade Finance Blockchain Marco Polo Aiming to Go Live Quickly
Photo: Tony Webster / Flickr

The BNY Mellon has officially joined the Marco Polo trade finance consortium intending to onboard clients if the network’s capabilities fit the client’s interests to enhance its trade finance business.

The latest reports have revealed that the Bank of New York Mellon has officially joined the Marco Polo trade finance consortium. This consortium is known to run on R3’s Corda and BNY Mellon has become the 28th bank to join. The bank has been constantly investing in the blockchain space since 2015. As we highlighted previously, the investments have significantly increased in recent months.

The $373-billion asset bank is reportedly evaluating Marco Polo’s technology intending to onboard clients if the network’s capabilities fit the client’s interests. The announcement was made by the global head of trade finance at BNY Mellon, Joon Kim, who also added:

“We hope is that the business requirements of our clients will meet with what Marco Polo has to offer, and we intend to move into live production A-S-A-P meaning as soon as possible.”

Kim refused to reveal the number of corporate and bank clients getting trade services from the bank. However, he said that BNY Mellon is currently working with 1,400 financial institutions in total.

BNY Mellon is also offering white-labeled trading services. The service is meant for banks throughout the world that desire to develop their trade operations but want to avoid the challenge of developing a new division. In September 2019 at the annual Sibos conference, the bank announced that it had expanded its trade services with KeyBank. KeyBank is a U.S. regional bank that has around $416 billion in assets.

Why is BNY Mellon Onboarding?

Trade finance is an integral part of the bank’s transaction banking business that also comprises of payments and liquidity products. BNY Mellon chose Marco Polo since the blockchain works efficiently for open account financing that makes up almost 85% of trade finance. According to Kim, it also works perfectly for the large corporate.

In the case of the open account transactions, goods are shipped and delivered before any payment is due. With only letter-of-credit financing, the bank guarantees a buyer’s total payment ahead of time.

Kim affirmed that BNY looked at other blockchain trade finance consortiums. These include we.trade which serves small to medium enterprises and Voltron that is designed around letters of credit. He said that the bank did not go for them since they did not serve its needs.

Marco Polo was founded by R3 and TradeIX blockchain companies. It strives to create real-time settlements and transparency in trading relationships. MasterCard and Bank of America joined the network in September 2019. The network then went ahead to execute its first Russian-Germany transactions in October 2019.

Up to now, BNY Mellon has already interacted with R3’s Corda in different other contexts. The bank participated in a marketplace in October 2017 with four other banks that use Corda as a hub for administering syndicated loans.

Furthermore, the bank is also making strategic investments in the crypto space. BNY Mellon launched digital asset safekeeping in April offering private key storage for bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt. This service is different from digital asset custody.

BNY Mellon has also been reported to be the administrator and transfer agent for the shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. These shares are being sold to institutions and Bitwise’s proposed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

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Wanguba Muriuki

Wanguba Muriuki is a content crafter passionate about putting everything into writing. He is passionate about Blockchain and Traveling. He is also an experienced creative and technical writer. Everything and everyone has a story to tell. What better way to capture the real story than in words.

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