Payments giant Visa announced the launch of its blockchain payments system B2B Connect this Tuesday.
“Launching Visa B2B Connect marks an important industry milestone which will accelerate the evolution of how commercial payments move around the world,” said Kevin Phalen, SVP, global head of Visa Business Solutions.
“By creating a solution that facilitates direct, bank to bank transactions, we are eliminating friction associated with key industry pain points.”
Visa first announced the B2B Connect project back in mid-2016 when it revealed it would be working with Chain, a blockchain technology company, to create a payments system.
The two companies were looking to develop a network that could facilitate instant payments and, simultaneously, have a ledger that would record all of those transactions.
B2B Connect appears to be just that.
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Aimed at high-value corporates, Visa says that its new system will be particularly useful for making cross border payments.
Hit the corporates, then the banks
Currently, the new payments system is operational in 30 different markets. Visa says that it plans to expand into 90 jurisdictions by the end of this year.
And though it may be targeting corporates at the moment, Visa clearly has plans to expand into the banking market.
The payments company has already signed deals with financial services giant FIS and Bottomline Technologies so that it can enter the SWIFT-dominated inter-bank payments market.
“Bottomline is delighted to be working with Visa to accelerate the adoption of innovative ways for businesses to make faster cross-border payments,” said Rob Eberle, president & CEO, Bottomline.
“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.”