Visa B2B Connect blockchain payments pilot could threaten Swift

VISA B2B Connect

Visa and blockchain firm Chain are working together on a near real-time funds transfer system for high value bank-to-bank and corporate payments.

Due to be launched next year, the Visa B2B Connect pilot is intended to improve business-to-business (B2B) payments, so should be of interest to treasuries and perhaps of concern to the Swift network, which handles the majority of global cross-border correspondent bank payment messages. It is already facing competition from Ripple and other technology-led rivals.

Visa B2B Connect will provide near real-time notification and finality of payment, aligned with an immutable system of record over a permitted private blockchain. The deployment of distributed ledger technology (DLT) was recently a hot topic of conversation at Swift’s Sibos trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, at EuroFinance 2016, and will no doubt be so again this week at the annual AFP treasury conference that GTNews will be covering this week.

The Chain Core enterprise blockchain infrastructure will underpin the new offering, with Visa providing the end-to-end management capability.

Founded in 2014, San Fransisco-based Chain has raised over $40m in funding from RRE and Khosla Ventures and its strategic partners include Citigroup, Nasdaq, Orange and Visa.

“The time has never been better for the global business community to take advantage of new payment technologies and improve some of the most fundamental processes needed to run their businesses,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa. “We are developing our new solution to give our financial institution partners an efficient, transparent way for payments to be made across the world.”

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