Professional services giant Accenture has invested in a Dublin-based blockchain platform in a bid to digitize global trade.

The firm has signed an undisclosed investment deal and strategic alliance with TradeIX to help accelerate the way in which goods, services, transactions and information are traded globally.

According to Accenture, current trade relies on costly and time-consuming manual transaction processes. But using TradeIX’s open platform, it wants to create a secure environment for global trade. 

Accenture claims that distributed ledger technology can enable “new ways to share data and the full automation of finance and accounting processes” and increase “productivity and working capital while reducing overall risk for banking parties.”

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“This relationship will help companies unlock trapped value in data silos across key operational processes, such as finance, accounting and supply chain,” said Melanie Cutlan, managing director of blockchain services for Accenture Operations. 

“Our goal is to scale this capability to help organizations achieve touchless payable and receivable processes within a secure and trusted environment—ultimately transforming how they conduct business with each other.”

Through this partnership, both companies will develop new market use cases to help address the needs of buyers and sellers within trade finance. In particular, the companies are planning to develop touchless finance processes such as procure-to-pay and order-to-cash. 

Accenture will also support Marco Polo Network, a fast-growing trade and working capital finance network comprised of more than 30 leading banks, corporations and technology providers.

It said the network is “enabling simple, secured sharing of trade-related data between financial institutions and their corporate clients” with buyers, suppliers, logistics and other entities.

Robert Barnes, CEO and co-founder of TradeIX, added, “With our global footprint expanding exponentially across both banks and their corporate clients, this alliance with Accenture is instrumental in us achieving our ambitions in making trade more transparent, smarter and better connected internationally.”