FCI (formerly Factors Chain International) is to start piloting its FCIreverse supply chain platform, developed in collaboration with working capital solutions provider Demica.

The news comes after the two have signed a framework legal agreement to allow FCI’s network of 400 banks and factoring firms access to the platform.

When fully operational, FCIreverse will allow these banks and firms to fund their clients’ suppliers anywhere in the world. It will be open on a pay-as-you go basis, which FCI says will allow members which focus on smaller companies to “economically” offer reverse factoring, thus helping to “open up the reverse factoring market beyond the large corporates with revenue greater than US$1bn that are, to date, the primary market using this product”.

FCI and Demica announced back in June last year that they had partnered to develop the platform. FCI had selected Demica out of three finalists after an extensive request for information process in 2016 and a request for proposals in 2017.

At the time, the parties expected the first pilots to be launched in Q3 2017.

When asked by GTR what has caused the delay of the project, Enrique Jimenez, Demica’s senior director for supply chain finance, says the two parties have been “having discussions with several FCI members to become pilots of the project while legal arrangements were discussed”.

He adds that, now, “a number of entities have been identified” to test the solution. The pilot stage will thus commence and is estimated to be completed by year-end, at which point FCIreverse will be made available to all FCI members.