Visa Launches Blockchain Payments System B2B Connect

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The Visa payment system launched a new hybrid network called "Visa B2B Connect", developed jointly with the blockchain startup Chain. While not a blockchain platform in its own right, Visa B2B Connect relies on distributed ledger technologies to facilitate more effective payments.

Currently, most cross border payments go through Swift, but Visa is hoping to break into the market which it says is worth $125 trillion.

Speaking about the development, Kevin Phalen, Visa's global head of business solutions said, "Its newly launched distributed ledger software facilitates direct bank connections".

B2B Connect can now be used by businesses seeking to make payments to 30 markets, with 90 more expected to be added by the end of this year.

Visa's blockchain facilitates direct bank to bank transactions and eliminates the friction of countless intermediaries who typically exist in the global remittance market. The move is meant to help the payments giant diversify its business, which now heavily relies on card-based transactions.

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Forbes describes further: "It's also hard to track the transfer's progress and predict how much it will cost, including what foreign exchange rate you'll get". Velocity, security and control of transactions, as well as lower counterparty risks are essential for a successful business with worldwide partners.

"Working together on Visa B2B Connect, we are combining the strengths of the world's leader in electronic payments with IBM's recognized expertise in helping scale distributed ledger technology".

Visa has brought on a number of partners, such as IBM, in order to scale the B2B Connect network including Bottomline Technologies Inc.

The move is seen as part of Visa's effort to push beyond card-based transactions and into the high-value cross-border transaction market. Instead, Visa will count on its experience in complex payments, compliance, and cybersecurity.

"Our ability to provide our mutual financial institution clients globally with access to Visa B2B Connect will help these banks to continue to deliver differentiated payment capabilities to their corporate customers".

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