Professional services firm Accenture has partnered with global trade finance blockchain startup TradeIX, becoming an onboarding partner for the Marco Polo Network. 

The agreement comes alongside an undisclosed investment by Accenture Ventures in TradeIX, the companies announced Tuesday. Accenture will help TradeIX create new use cases beyond banking for buyers and sellers within trade finance. 

“As we talked to more corporates it became apparent there was more that we could be doing,” said Robert Barnes, CEO and co-founder of TradeIX. “We’re looking to enhance the data between buyer and seller … including inventory information, invoice and purchase orders, advance and shipping orders and working with contracts on the chain.”

Accenture is a strategic partner with Marco Polo ahead of the network’s launch in 2020 and will help corporations integrate their legacy technology with the blockchain system. 

“We’re processing many of these transactions already, leading the way with AI, analytics and automation to get to a more streamlined processing,” Melanie Cutlan, managing director of blockchain services for Accenture Operations said. “With DLT, Accenture has been focused on financial services infrastructure, supply chain and digital identity – this hits the core of all three of those.” 

Last week, TradeIX announced that the Marco Polo network completed its largest open-account trade finance trial to date with more than 70 organizations. Since its unveiling, the network has added a number of major names in finance and related industries, with Bank of America, Mastercard and automaker Daimler joining the network in September. In November, Bank of New York Mellon became the 28th bank to join the network.

For its part, Accenture was tapped by Sweden’s central bank to develop its e-krona digital currency pilot earlier this month. The firm also lent tech support for a trial between the central banks of Canada and Singapore conducting cross-border payments using digital currencies and blockchain. 

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