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Pole Star joins Marco Polo network

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Maritime technology and regulatory compliance firm, Pole Star has partnered with global trade finance technology provider TradeIX, to bring Pole Star’s multi award winning PurpleTRAC regulatory technologies to the Marco Polo Network. Developed in conjunction with companies facing regulatory exposure in maritime trade and shipping, the PurpleTRAC sanctions compliance screening and vessel tracking solution will enable users to automate, streamline and record their regulatory processes. Making PurpleTRAC available on the R3 Corda network will provide a single point solution for automated vessel sanctions screening, vessel tracking and risk management. This solution will be fully customisable to any user’s risk requirements and provide automated data updates whilst ensuring rapid and accurate results. 

Maritime related processes are ready for change. Currently, container logistics are rooted in archaic IT systems with large amounts of data entry-type paperwork. Each data entry presents a potential point of failure, vulnerable to human error and illicit manipulation. 

Until recently, processing trade finance transactions such as letters of credit was mainly paper-based, manual and time consuming. But since the underlying trade flows were also slow, transactions were not impairing intermodal flows in a substantial manner. With digitalisation and by leveraging blockchain technology, the velocity of financial and informational flows are better synchronised with the velocity of the physical transactions. 

The partnership between Pole Star and the Marco Polo Network provides a fully automated vessel sanctions screening solution to the network’s member banks, their corporate clients and the extended trade ecosystem. It allows organisations to increase the capacity and velocity of their transactions whilst facilitating rapid decision-making in trade finance. 

Currently, more than thirty banks including BNY Mellon, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, LBBW and Standard Chartered Bank are part of Marco Polo, making it the largest and fastest growing trade finance network leveraging blockchain technology in the world. 
Any trade transaction consists of three layers, consisting of physical, financial and information flows. Until now, these layers have been operating separately in multiple, different and siloed data systems. 
This partnership will act as a catalyst for change, enabling the streamlining of maritime transactional processes and the securing of sensitive data. 

This constitutes a major milestone for the industry. It is the first time that the financial, physical and informational layers are merged together on the Marco Polo Network, allowing for an increase in transparency and visibility into global trade flows, which greatly reduces risk and creates new trigger points to finance trade and improve working capital.  

“It has never been more vital for businesses to ensure that they can keep at pace with the regulatory landscape,” says Simon Ring, Global Head of Financial Markets Compliance at Pole Star. “This partnership will facilitate trade finance transactions on distributed ledger technology (DLT) by automating the trade finance and supply chain’s regulatory compliance and logistics processes like never before.” 

“The future of efficient and compliant global trade relies on better flow of information across the value chain,” says Julian Longson, Managing Director at Pole Star. “With Pole Star and Marco Polo joining forces, financial institutions will be able to rely on DLT to meet and surpass regulatory guidelines in a fraction of the time and cost.” 

“Global supply chains rely on a massive volume of information that must be managed in real time with detailed transaction visibility to support regulatory and corporate compliance, which is becoming increasingly more critical. With over 90 per cent of world trade transported by sea, PurpleTRAC’s sanctions compliance screening and vessel tracking solutions allow members of the Marco Polo Network to have access to actionable business intelligence via the underlying Corda blockchain. We strongly believe that this will serve as a key competitive advantage for all members operating on the Marco Polo Network.” says Robert Barnes, CEO at TradeIX. 

“As the fastest growing trade finance network, Marco Polo has helped to establish blockchain technology as a tool for enabling cost and time efficient processing throughout the trade lifecycle,” says Cathy Minter, Chief Revenue Officer at R3. “With Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC regulatory technologies now available on Corda, this solution will be fully customisable to comply with each user’s individual requirements. The result will be streamlined transactional processing, further contributing to eliminating the time consuming paperwork that has burdened the trade finance industry.” 
 

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