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On October 21 global payment giant Visa announced its blockchain-based business to business payment services, called B2B Connect, will be going live in the first quarter of 2019. Visa launched the pilot scheme for the technology in February after announcing the project the year before and is planning to roll it out in the first quarter of next year after a successful pilot.
One of the major benefits of the project is that B2B connect reduces the opportunity for attacks to exploit users, defrauding them as often happens through traditional payment methods such as checks and wire transfers.
The platform includes a digital identity feature that consists of safety, security and governance in one solution. Companies will have unique identifiers for their business’ sensitive information and transactions, and this identifier can then be used to perform functions within the platform. Visa hopes that the solution will help simplify the process of cross-country international payments, making them simple and safe.
As part of the project, Visa is expanding its partnerships to exchange ideas and add valuable new functionality to the platform ready for release. On the technical side, Visa is combining their core assets with open source Hyperledger Fabric framework from the Linux Foundation. Visa has been working with IBM on this (which has had quite a lot of blockchain-based developments recently), in order to create a scalable, permissioned blockchain network that is fit for the purpose.
Another partnership Visa is nurturing is with Bottom Technologies. Bottom Technologies provide business payment automation services to complex payments simple and streamlined. Their solutions are used in 92 countries, by thousands of companies and they will be the first company to integrate their solution with B2B Connect.
“When industry leaders in payments and in financial services technology work together using open source technology, the entire business landscape stands to benefit,” said Jason Kelley, general manager, IBM Blockchain Services. “IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger technology are delivering real business value today and B2B Connect is one of the most powerful examples to date of how blockchain is transforming payments.”
This is a major step forward for Visa, with so many start-ups providing blockchain solutions and gaining traction in terms of excitement and investment, Visa have recognized it’s the way payments are heading and its time to join the party. Visa providing a blockchain solution is likely to create waves through the payments industry and we may see other payment giants get twitchy to join the effort.