The well-known financial services firm Visa is gearing up to release a blockchain-powered digital identity system that will facilitate cross-border payments. According to a recent press release, Visa has now revealed that the system will launch in Q1 of 2019.
This new financial product is aimed at the business-to-business market, and will be titled ”Visa B2B Connect.”
Visa states that the distributed ledger-based system is ”one-of-a-kind,” and intends to aid financial institutions in processing cross-national global business-to-business payments.
Visa B2B Connect has been a long time coming, as Visa’s website notes that it was originally shown in 2017.
At the time, the US Commerce Bank, the Union Bank of the Philippines, the South Korean Shinhan Bank, and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank were listed as working with Visa on developing the system and processing pilot payments. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether Visa’s vision for B2B Connect has changed since then.
Nevertheless, the recently announced Visa B2B Connect system will reportedly utilize tokenization of sensitive business information and data – including account numbers and banking details – in an effort to provide greater security, through granting these a unique cryptographic identifier.
The international head of Visa Business Solutions, Kevin Phalen, stressed how Visa B2B Connect could help reduce fraud through this use of digital technology.
”B2B Connect’s digital identity greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud that might otherwise exist with checks, ACH and wire transfers today, while also helping companies remain compliant as part of the regulated financial ecosystem,” Phalen noted.
He also described the development of B2B Connect as providing ”a new way for businesses to make cross-border, high-value payments – fixing broken processes and breaking down geographical barriers along the way.”
The potential use-cases for Visa B2B Connect appear to be plentiful, as Phalen has argued that it will be used by a veritable plethora of financial institutions ”for a variety of industry verticals, including supply chain, trade, institutional banking and more.”
Visa’s press release also explains that the B2B Connect solution will see Visa’s ”core assets” be integrated with the Linux Foundation-hosted Hyperledger Fabric framework, supposedly allowing the use of a scalable, permissioned network for financial transactions.
Moreover, the general manager of IBM Blockchain Services, Jason Kelly, has commented that ”B2B Connect is one of the most powerful examples to date how blockchain is transforming payments.”
IBM and Visa will work together to allow their ”mutual financial institutional clients and ecosystem to maximize the network.”
In addition to this, Bottomline Technology – a provider of financial technology – is reportedly working with Visa to become the first partner to integrate its proprietary solution with B2B Connect, which could see Bottomline’s 1,200 financial institutions globally gain access to the B2B Connect system.
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