Visa Launches Swift Payments Killer Using Blockchain

Darnell Taylor
June 13, 2019

Payments giant Visa has unveiled a new platform for cross-border payments, incorporating some elements of blockchain technology to deliver payments more efficiently, Reuters reported. The network uses elements of blockchain technology to allow financial institutions to rapidly process global corporate client payment transactions at lower cost.

At present, most cross-border payments are mainly facilitated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Belgian organization Swift.

"Launching Visa B2B Connect marks an important industry milestone which will accelerate the evolution of how commercial payments move around the world", says Kevin Phalen, SVP and global head of Visa Business Solutions.

In its press release dated June 11, Visa announced that the platform's commercial launch will cover more than 30 global trade corridors. Along with Visa's core assets, Visa B2B Connect utilizes open source Hyperledger Fabric framework from the Linux Foundation, in partnership with IBM. It comes as the latest blockchain play from Visa, after the firm recently announced it had partnered with messaging app LINE to explore new blockchain digital payment technologies.

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From the company they also said that their newly launched distributed ledger software will facilitate direct bank connections. Financial institutions can also see payment fees upfront. Instead, Visa will count on its experience in complex payments, compliance, and cybersecurity.

The new network is a result of collaboration with tech global giant IBM, as well as e-payment operator Bottomline Technologies and fintech firm FIS.

The network is expected to enhance the efficiency of cross-border payments between financial institutions.

According to Visa, a number of banks participated in the platform's pilot program, including Commerce Bank and Cornèr Bank. "This is a unique example of how blockchain-based architecture can help transform B2B value chains by facilitating secure and transparent transactions globally", said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. Visa says Bottomline and FIS are now working with their respective bank clients to integrate Visa B2B Connect.

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