During the FinTech Festival, now underway in Singapore, global credit provider Visa revealed updates on its blockchain-based business-to-business commerce platform. This announcement comes almost in concert with American Express's recent unveiling of a transatlantic blockchain B2B payment platform.
According to the announcement, the Visa B2B Connect platform is scheduled for a mid-2018 launch and will provide financial institutions more effective means of processing cross-border payments. Visa previewed the project during October of 2016 and has since brokered global partnerships including US-based Commerce Bank, Shinhan Bank of South Korea, Union Bank of the Philippines, and Singaporean United Overseas Bank.
Visa said that it will continue to expand opportunities for cross-border payments, which it maintains are a high-value marketplace.
Chris Wiedenmann, Commerce Bank VP of commercial payments and products, affirmed that a growing globalized marketplace has created a necessity to more quickly process transactions. "Today, making cross-border corporate payments can be a cumbersome, lengthy, and friction-filled process for financial institutions and their corporate clients," said Wiedenmann. "Using technology based on blockchain architecture, Visa B2B Connect simplifies this process by sending transactions over Visa's network from the bank of origin directly to the recipient bank."
In its announcement, the company stated, "Creativity, agility, and product flexibility are vital attributes as we develop the products and capabilities that will power the next generation of payments," and that it is guided by principles based in security, interoperability, and governance.
B2B Connect was designed with an "API-first" strategy, designed to leverage the capabilities of a global development community "to enable a smarter cross-border payments flow."
For now, the project is centralized to Singapore, where the scale of commerce in the busy port will provide an appropriate test bed for the platform to earn its chops.