Mastercard and R3, a leading enterprise blockchain software provider, have today announced a strategic partnership to develop and pilot a new blockchain-enabled cross-border payments solution that will initially focus on connecting global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks supported by a clearing and settlement network operated by Mastercard.
The fear cycle around blockchain is dissipating, according to Sheila Warren, Head of the Blockchain at the World Economic Forum.
“It’s exciting to see tech giants publicly owning their explorations of blockchain technology. This kind of validation should help to cement the idea that this technology is here to stay. Companies not contemplating their potential should spend some cycles familiarizing themselves with it.”
“At the same time, the types of use cases are primarily in the payment arena, reflecting the technology’s relative maturity in that space. We expect to see more public declarations going forward as the fear around this technology dissipates and we continue to move along the hype cycle.”
Earlier this year, Mastercard strengthened its cross-border network reach with its acquisition of Transfast. Today’s announcement complements the company’s formidable capabilities by providing access to R3’s Corda ecosystem, which includes more than 300 of the world’s leading financial services firms, technology companies, central banks, regulators and trade associations.
Peter Klein, executive vice president of New Payment Platforms for Mastercard, commented:
“Developing a new and better cross-border B2B payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space is central to Mastercard’s ambition. Our goal is to deliver global payment infrastructure choice and connectivity as demonstrated through our recent strategic acquisitions and partnerships, including our relationship with R3. It confirms our commitment to innovation, both home-grown and through partnerships and acquisitions, to support advances and innovation in the increasingly complex global payment infrastructure space.”
The partnership is the latest step in Mastercard’s multi-rail strategy, providing customers with an unrivalled choice in how they move money. By combining R3’s expertise in blockchain with Mastercard’s existing payment systems assets, brand and distribution, the partnership will provide increasingly innovative, value-add services for customers, addressing factors such as high processing overheads, liquidity management and the existing lack of standardization and processes between banks and domestic clearing systems.
David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added:
“We are excited to partner with Mastercard to help shape the future of the digital payments ecosystem. All institutions – large or small – rely on the ability to send and receive payments, but all too often the technology they rely upon is cumbersome and expensive. Cross-border payments can be a particular pain point. Corda was designed specifically for enterprise use cases such as this, and we look forward to supporting Mastercard in bringing blockchain-enabled payments businesses across the globe.”
R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a global ecosystem of more than 300 participants across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.
R3’s global team of over 200 professionals in 13 countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its vibrant ecosystem. The Corda platform is already being used in industries from financial services to healthcare, shipping, insurance and more. It records, manages and executes institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce.
Mastercard is a technology company in the global payments industry that connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.
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