Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, one of South East Asia’s largest regional banks and Thailand’s biggest lender, has joined the Marco Polo trade finance initiative run by the distributed database tech group R3 and trade fintech specialist TradeIX.

Launched last year, Marco Polo is focusing on a trade finance platform built on an interoperable business network powered by open application programming interfaces (APIs) and blockchain technology.

TradeIX and R3, in partnership with several of the world’s leading financial institutions, have developed for Marco Polo a solution for open account trade financing powered by TradeIX’s TIX platform and R3’s Corda blockchain technology.

“Bangkok Bank is committed to using innovative technologies to meet the needs of our customers,” said Ian Guy Gillard, the bank’s executive vice president. “We are delighted to be working with R3, TradeIX and several leading banks on the Marco Polo project in which we are applying distributed ledger technologies to address the complexities and inefficiencies of trade finance.

The Marco Polo solution is initially focused on three areas of trade finance: risk mitigation by provision of payment commitments based on the matching of trade data, payables finance, and receivables finance. It will be delivered via theTIX platform and Corda.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added: “Bangkok Bank was the first Thai bank to join R3 back in 2016, and we are excited to build on our relationship with them as we work with TradeIX to establish Marco Polo as a new standard in trade finance technology.”