MasterCard is taking steps to keep pace with its rival Visa. Both companies understand the potential of the blockchain and are working to adopt the technology.
In September, Visa has teamed up with BTL Group, a digital payments start-up, to adapt blockchain for processing interbank payments. The partners have developed the project to reduce costs, speed up settlement time and minimize credit risk in the market for moving money between banks both domestically and across borders.
“The project will use BTL’s cross-border settlement platform Interbit to explore the ways in which blockchain-based settlements can reduce the friction of domestic and cross border transfers between banks – reducing cost, settlement time, credit risk, and by leveraging smart contracts to automate many of the regulation and compliance requirements of domestic and international transfers”, says Mr Kleinsmiede, co-founder of Visa Europe Collab, the company’s innovation hub.
MasterCard doesn’t want to stay behind and adds three blockchain APIs to its developer site. “The blockchain facilitates new commerce opportunities for the digital transfer of value by allowing businesses and financial institutions to transact on a distributed ledger”, says MasterCard.
The financial services company allows developers to get free access to a core blockchain API, smart contracts API and fast pay network API, as well as invites them to experiment in areas P2P, P2M and B2B payments, trade finance and supply chain.
The initiative of MasterCard will enable users to run their own blockchain nodes, define transaction types and manage participation in a blockchain network. Besides, MasterCard offers a possibility to write custom scripts, do real-time reconciliation and execute settlement.
MasterCard has recently launched a gateway with a purpose to prove that the company is open to new partners and advanced technologies such as blockchain, which used to be treated just as a bitcoin’s underlying technology. The company reveals that the new APIs are housed in this ‘new and experimental’ section.
MasterCard as well as Visa have recently entered a partnership with Stripe, an ecommerce payments provider. Thus, Stripe will add Visa Direct and MasterCard Send to its marketplaces. As for now, the list of marketplaces running on Stripe Connect also includes Postmates, Instacart and iCracked.
“In building instant payouts, we’ve been fortunate to work closely with great partners, including Mastercard,” said Billy Alvarado, chief business officer, Stripe. “Millions of people drive, deliver, provide healthcare or otherwise sell on marketplaces using Stripe. Whether they’re earning a living full-time or doing part-time work, for these people, getting paid a few days faster is a big help.”