Accenture’s strategic alliance with the Marco Polo Network is a prime example of multiparty systems at work.

An ICC study found that in a traditional Letter of Credit process the same 70 data fields are used and manually passed back and forth approximately 5,000 times1. Trade transactions today heavily depend on individuals and partnerships using paper-based transaction processes, some created centuries ago. This state of play is time intensive, point to point, and requires constant reconciliation, impeding the full potential of trade and working capital finance.

Imagine if we could all share information in real-time. Paperwork that previously took weeks or even months to get printed, couriered and reconciled, could be processed digitally in seconds. The rapid innovations in multiparty systems empower business ecosystems to operate in a shared data construct. The technology is built and ready for implementation with small-medium-businesses and commercial banks alike.

We help clients around the world with their digital transformations. We’ve innovated procurement processes using leading e-procurement tools and developed new operating models to speed up processes. From our view, the next evolution of this innovation journey will be a strategic operating model change effort in which companies come together to form multiparty systems.

A prime multiparty system at work

One great example of a multiparty system already making great strides in transforming the trade finance and supply chain space is the Marco Polo Network. With this future state in mind, Accenture recently formed a strategic alliance with Marco Polo. This initiative of 30 leading banks, alternative lenders and technology providers is an open working capital network built on R3 Corda DLT that is helping to break down the data silos of highly manual systems. Members can share data and connect their separate solutions in a collaborative, interoperable environment, with the mutual goal of conducting business operations with greater speed, less complexity and less risk.

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This alliance combines our scale and deep technical experience in system integration with Marco Polo’s blockchain architecture and momentum in building out these networks. Together, we will help clients evolve their business operations strategies to bring to the fore a more open and inclusive global financial infrastructure, private sector growth, and entirely new business models.

A single platform for many connections

Here’s how this multiparty system works: Members of the network install, either on prem or via the cloud, the Marco Polo platform and the Corda node, which directly integrates to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Secure and connected application programming interfaces (APIs) and direct ERP integration replace costly integration processes.

Single set-up enables connectivity with all network participants and transactions on enterprise-ready trade finance solutions. The Marco Polo solution suite includes Payables Financing, Receivables Discounting and Payment Commitment, extending Accenture’s capabilities for trade finance, FS and accounting solutions.

Transforming global trade finance

Networks like Marco Polo are driving a paradigm shift in global trade finance. The ability for our clients to come together in an open multiparty system like this enables experimentation with the newest technologies without incurring high overhead costs. This greater access to financing will help clients develop and scale highly distinct offerings, expand into new markets and further their competitive advantage. And in the current context of today, this will also help keep small businesses in business, offering a way to bring on suppliers in days, utilizing automation to rapidly get their environments setup.

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Our collaboration with the Marco Polo Network will define even more use cases to include buyers, suppliers, logistics, customs, insurance brokers, and others. As the Marco Polo Network matures in features and functions, it will decrease trade financing costs, increase working capital and liquidity, speed up time to approvals, and reduce data entry and reconciliation.

If interested in developing your strategy with us for how to trade in the new, we encourage you to learn more about our alliance with the Marco Polo Network and reach out for a meeting to continue this conversation.

 

 

References

1 ICC Banking Commission. Global Trade – Securing Future Growth. (2018). https://iccwbo.org/publication/global-survey-2018-securing-future-growth/

Melanie Cutlan

Managing Director – Blockchain MPS Co-Lead


Pooja Sanghvi

Senior Manager – Blockchain MPS Operations Lead

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