Mastercard and R3 have announced a strategic partnership to develop and pilot a blockchain-enabled cross-border payments solution that will initially focus on connecting global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks supported by a clearing and settlement network operated by Mastercard.
Earlier this year, Mastercard added to its cross-border network reach with its acquisition of Transfast. This announcement complements the company’s capabilities by providing access to R3’s Corda ecosystem, which includes more than 300 of the world’s financial services firms, technology companies, central banks, regulators and trade associations.
Mastercard says that the partnership is the latest step in its multi-rail strategy, providing customers with unrivalled choice in how they move money. By combining R3’s expertise in blockchain with Mastercard’s existing payment systems assets, brand and distribution, the partnership is designed to provide increasingly innovative, value add services for customers, addressing factors such as high processing overheads, liquidity management and the existing lack of standardization and processes between banks and domestic clearing systems.
Peter Klein, executive vice president of New Payment Platforms for Mastercard, commented: “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. It confirms our commitment to innovation, both home-grown and through partnerships and acquisitions, to support advances and innovation in the increasingly complex global payment infrastructure space.”
David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added: “We are excited to partner with Mastercard to help shape the future of the digital payments ecosystem. 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 supporting Mastercard in bringing blockchain-enabled payments businesses across the globe.”
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