Mastercard and R3 To Create Cross-Border Blockchain For B2B Payments

Mastercard R3 cross-border blockchain B2B payments Corda platform cryptocurrency

Global payments group Mastercard has announced it is working in partnership with blockchain firm R3 to develop a new infrastructure for cross-border B2B payments.

According to an announcement published by the payments giant today, Mastercard has teamed up with R3 to “develop and pilot” a new solution for payments, which will initially sync with the existing Mastercard clearance and settlement networks.

The project will also seek to connect faster payment systems between banks, providing an integrated global solution for B2B payments on the blockchain.

R3 CEO David E. Rutter said the platform would bring blockchain payments to businesses of all sizes worldwide.

“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 to businesses across the globe.”

Peter Klein, executive vice-president of new payment platforms at Mastercard, said the payments infrastructure would provide much-needed blockchain connectivity for B2B payments.

“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.”

The partnership follows Mastercard’s acquisition of global payments company Transfast in July, and will be developed on R3’s Corda platform, a move that has been described as “expand(ing) its capabilities in the payments arena.”

It follows on from an announcement earlier in the week that Mastercard is to join the Marco Polo trade finance network, itself a collaboration between R3 and TradeIX.

B2B payments remain underserved by blockchain solutions, and the decision of Mastercard to move ahead with the new platform is the latest sign of a major mainstream financial services firm shifting greater focus toward blockchain.

When launched, the platform is expected to allow businesses to benefit from the low-cost, fast cross-border settlement afforded by cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.