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Visa B2B Connect Joins IBM to Foster Blockchain Cross-border Payments

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by Sofiko Abeslamidze · 3 min read
Visa B2B Connect Joins IBM to Foster Blockchain Cross-border Payments
Photo: VisaNews / Twitter

Visa’s distributed ledger platform, B2B Connect is integrating open-source blockchain code from the Hyperledger Fabric to provide clients with a groundbreaking payment network.

For a couple of years Visa has been engaged into an ambitious endeavor touching the cutting-edge blockchain technology. Being known as a top-notch provider of payment services Visa can’t help but try out to revolutionize the multi-million industry of electronic funds transfers with a toolkit of decentralized distributed ledger.

As soon as such a splendid idea has crossed the mind of Visa company, the world’s payment giant started to look for a decent partnership in the blockchain-sphere, which once being found would join forces with Visa to live out an aspiring plan into digital reality.

B2B Connect Platform

Reportedly in 2016, Visa at first unfolded a blockchain-based platform for cross-border business payments called Visa B2B Connect.

Approximately at that time, the company signed a deal with Chain Inc., an alternative solution to global payments rail SWIFT that serves as a seamless rout for large payments between businesses. For as much as two years Chain Inc. has been Visa’s only business partner for the B2B Connect projects. Yet today the new partnership has seen the light of day.

The B2B Connect platform operates as a so-called supplier of “digital identity” that tokenizes highly sensitive data including account numbers and banking details with a unique identifier to facilitate faster transactions susceptible to fewer fraud. Fundamentally, cross-border corporate transactions sent through B2B Connect are processed from the bank of origin directly to the receiver at the beneficiary bank.

Speaking on the potential of B2B Connect’s digital identity feature Kevin Phalen, global head of Visa Business Solutions, said:

“B2B Connect’s digital identity greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud that might otherwise exist with checks, ACH and wire transfers today, while also helping companies remain compliant as part of the regulated financial ecosystem.”

The system largely benefits for payments in verticals such as supply chain, trade, and institutional banking, since it runs on an internal Visa network instead of the correspondent banking system.

Visa Expands Partnerships Integrating Hyperledger Fabric to B2B Connect

Visa plans to provide a commercial launchpad for B2B Connect in the first quarter of 2019 and for this occasion the company has recently partnered IBM, thus receiving a right to use blockchain code from the Hyperledger Fabric to add additional functionality to the B2B Connect platform.

As part of the B2B Connect platform, Visa is integrating open source Hyperledger Fabric framework from the Linux Foundation with Visa’s core assets. This will help provide an improved process to facilitate financial transactions on a scalable, permissioned network.

The work between Visa and IBM will enable our mutual financial institutional clients and ecosystem to maximize the network. Building on a 40-year relationship between Visa and IBM, this is a natural progression that highlights both companies’ commitment to ensuring a frictionless cross-border payment experience with the utmost security, trust and transparency.

IBM Blockchain Services general manager Jason Kelley added:

“IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger technology are delivering real business value today and B2B Connect is one of the most powerful examples to date of how blockchain is transforming payments.”

Notably that the system already have earlier adopters. As Coinspeaker previously reported Thailand’s fourth-largest bank  Kasikornbank has signed on to test the B2B project.

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