Říj 26

Money 20/20: Visa, Chain Expand on B2B Connect

Source: bitcoin

B2B Products

On Sunday afternoon’s lead-off keynote address at the Money 20/20 Conference in Las Vegas, Visa and Chain joined to collectively promote their new, blockchain-inspired payments platform, B2B Connect.

Also read: Altcoin Report: Monero Shutting Down Until January

Visa and Chain Use Blockchain for B2B Transactions

Leveraging benefits from shared infrastructural ledger technology, including global scale, transparency, and cryptographically-backed security, the Visa B2B Connect product is built on Chain’s proprietary Chain Core software. The product will go live with a pilot in early 2017, though successful tests have already been conducted.

Vicky Bindra, Global Head of Products and Solutions at Visa, began by telling the story of how international payments today are rather clumsy. The compartmentalized nature of payment systems makes it difficult to identify when payments arrive at corresponding banks.

Traditionally, payment systems need to wait on a complex web of signed messages to cascade through banks and record, process, clear, reconcile, and settle in order to complete a transaction.

Speaking to this, Bindra pointed out that “It can take weeks to solve that issue, and cause a headache for buyers and suppliers looking to engage in international trade. . .and this in an environment where business expectations have sped up. We want things faster, we want to engage with consumers more quickly.”

Coupled with a recent explosion in international trade volumes, updating payment rails will likely alleviate these pressures and unleash unrealized business potential.

Speaking second, Adam Lubin, CEO of Chain, explained blockchain technology as part of a larger story in the evolution around how technology has impacted the ways by which goods, communication, and money has changed over time.

For example, with music, there has been a transition from raw music, to recorded music, to digitally stored music, to cloud-based streaming. Under each scenario here, music was involved yet what changed was the medium through which this moved.

As Mr. Lubin succinctly stated, “A blockchain enables a new medium for money.”

This news follows Western Union’s April announcement of a global, B2B platform for settling payments. Seeing a shipped product in the permissioned blockchain space is exciting news, as prototypes are beginning to transition from theory to reality.

Visa and Chain’s collaboration shows the potential of collaboration between Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and it is evident that the initiative will effect a wide array of customers worldwide given the vast network Visa works with.

What do you think about the VISA B2B connect platform?  Can VISA and Chain’s collaboration demonstrate future wins for permissioned blockchains? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Visa.

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Money 20/20: Visa, Chain Expand on B2B Connect

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Kvě 01

Industry Report: Bitcoin Error Makes Miner Rich, DCG Grows Empire

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

Want to catch up on digital currency news? This week, an accidental transaction landed a bitcoin miner a hefty sum of coins, and Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group got even bigger. Take a look and see what you’ve been missing.

Also read: Industry Report: EU Gets Serious, Blockchain Does Healthcare

BITCOIN ERROR = MASSIVE FUNDS!

Imagine that you’re expecting a minor payment from a friend or colleague. Nothing big, maybe a few dollars or so. Just a little something to help keep you afloat… They decide to pay you in bitcoin, so you sit, staring at your account, expecting the amount to come through at any moment, and when it arrives, you begin to sweat. Your heart beats faster, and the adrenaline is rising in your system. For some reason, this person didn’t send you $1; they sent you $100,000.

This is the scenario that occurred just a few days ago when someone (presently unnamed) sent a transaction for five cents worth of bitcoin and wound up paying an additional $137,000 in fees in what is being labeled a massive, unintentional error.

The occurrence likely happened due to the swapping of fee fields between transactions, possibly through a script moving money around. The recipient of the fee is allegedly a Chinese MLM operation. At this time, no plans have been made to return the funds. Furthermore, it likely won’t be easy to return them even if the company wants to. The company may have to deduct the amount as a business expense after booking the funds, and the recipient would have to provide excessive evidence that they are who they say they are (and be subject to further scrutiny from there). Either way, a bank-breaking payday is in store for some lucky party.

DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP

A lot has been happening with Digital Currency Group. After obtaining Coindesk, one of digital currency’s most prominent news platforms, the company has announced that Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary and former president of Harvard University, is joining DCG as the company’s senior advisor.

Summers has been a long-time Bitcoin fanatic, and voiced his support for the currency just last year at the Museum of American Finance, stating:

“We have seen so little innovation cumulatively directed at taking the frictional costs out of the system. The notion that there’s going to be a lot of innovation and experimentation around how those frictional costs can be taken out feels like a very important idea.”

Adding to the good news is banking conglomerate Western Union, which now serves as one of the company’s top investors along with other high-ranking financial firms including OMERS Ventures, Kingsbridge Wealth Management, and Wood Investment Partners.

Expressing his enthusiasm, CEO Barry Silbert explained:

“We are honored to have the support of so many fantastic investors and advisers and the trust of our portfolio companies and subsidiaries who are looking to us for not just capital, but an opportunity to leverage our insights and engage with our broad network. The DCG family continues to grow, and we are excited to continue supporting and building meaningful businesses in the digital currency and distributed ledger space.”

Have any stories you’d like to see recapped in our weekly industry series? Tell us below!


 

Images courtesy of bitmate.net & digitalcurrencycouncil.com

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Dub 06

Western Union Launches B2B Platform for Global Payments

Source: bitcoin

Western Union

At the Money20/20 conference in Copenhagen, Western Union announced the launch of the WU EDGE platform, designed to provide increased transaction channels and analytics opportunities for Western Union small and middle-sized business clients. The Enterprise Digital Global Exchange (EDGE) is the new Western Union business-to-business digital platform which will make buying and selling overseas much more seamless and cheap.

Also read: How to Implement the Blockchain in Financial Institutions

Western Union Borrows From the Blockchain

Given Western Union’s scale, the platform aims help business owners in the developing and developed worlds alike. Speaking to the potential impact of the platform, Kerry Agiasotis, President of Western Union Business Solutions, commented, ““WU EDGE technology will enable hundreds of thousands of businesses across the world to easily engage in global trade, potentially enabling them to grow, invest and deliver the jobs of the future. We view ourselves as business partners to our SME customers and we are proud to offer this platform to them.”

While not blockchain-based, the WU Edge seems to be applying lessons from distributed ledger technology. Through providing a centralized data collection space with global integration and reach, small and medium sized businesses will now be able to view their accounting data in a single location, thereby forgoing barriers traditionally present in integrating foreign or disparate data systems. Initial partners can additionally invite existing or new partners to trade globally and interact with them in real-time on WU Edge, which should help expand it’s use and lead to growth in international business offerings and trade.

Western Union’s announcement gives hope that the outdated and silo-based global financial architecture is evolving. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have less than fully realized business potential due to local technological and regulatory standards, disparate currencies, time lags, and burdensome fees. The traditional players can significantly help overcome these problems and bridge previously disconnected business avenues. WU Edge, for example, will operate in over 130 currencies in and 200 countries and territories. The platform also promises to provide “near real-time” service for 22 currencies, becoming real-time for 49 currencies within a few months from launch.

WU Edge will go-live on April 11th in six initial markets: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States. The platform will be available in other select markets in 2016.

What do you think about Western Union’s announcement? Can traditional players continue to have an impact on the quickly evolving payments space? How can Western Union apply the Blockchain’s lessons even further? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Western Union

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Western Union Launches B2B Platform for Global Payments

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Úno 17

Moneytis Brings Transparency to the Finance World

Source: bitcoin

Moneytis

Amsterdam, Netherlands, February 17, 2016 — Moneytis was launched in 2015 by 2 French expatriates fed up with money transfers opacity.

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not responsible for this company’s products and/or services.

Moneytis: A Comparison Service for Money Transfers, Launched by Expatriates

The 10-member team goes at this market by comparing in real-time the main offers like Western Union with other actors using P2P technology and with the Blockchain network, exclusively on the Moneytis platform. “Our users have finally access to all best solutions and not only the one advertising the most,” explains Christophe Lassuyt at the Paris Fintech Forum, which took place the 28th January at Paris Bercy.

In a Context Where FinTech Actors Are Multiplying

“The number of fintech actors is multiplying, it becomes important to compare them clearly,” explained Etienne Tatur at the Breaking Barriers event organized with Eric Ries (The Lean Startup) on February 10th in Amsterdam. The French economy minister has also been trending as of late, by recently launching a comparison platform for bank prices.

Moneytis (“Money Transfer Is Simple”) wants to simplify the process of sending money abroad, that’s why the platform is free for individuals.

Cooperating With Banks

“We work with banks such as ING in Amsterdam at their fintech innovation studio,” explains Etienne Tatur. “The goal is to create synergies where customers get satisfied with modern and transparent offers.”

Towards Success Thanks to a Customer-Oriented Process

This Fintech startup screens company fees on money transfers for more than 10,000 country corridors for more than 5,000 users who saved a total of 110,000 euros by using the platform. The startup is oriented towards bringing benefits to the customers, as the team knows how expensive the service is in the current market. Money transfer services charge fees  of 7.52% fees on average, according to the World Bank. The business model is volume-based, as they get money thanks to kick-back fees of less than 0.3% from their partner.

In this international context, the Moneytis team enjoys changing location every 6 months in order to get a better understanding from their customers. They’ve been to Switzerland, France and Mexico, and they are currently in Amsterdam. More information about the company story can be found here.

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Úno 04

Viber And Western Union Create Mobile Remittance Solution Despite Cheaper Bitcoin Option

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Viber

Mobile payment solutions are the new hype right now, as consumers from all over the world are looking for more convenient ways to pay for goods and services. No one would have expected Viber to become a major player in the financial world anytime soon, but their recent partnership with Western Union shakes things up quite a bit. While Bitcoin remains a cheaper remittance solution, this partnership has a lot of potential.

Also read: Rudimental Media to launch Ethereum Based Equity Crowdfunding Site

Mobile Remittance With Viber

In this day and age, there are so many different social messaging applications that it becomes hard to keep track of them all. Viber is one of the more established solutions in this segment, as they serve over 664 million unique users around the world. By offering free VoIP phone calls from a mobile device, as well as a messaging service, Viber has quickly become one of the top social apps available today.

Such a rate of success does not go by unnoticed, and Viber has caught the attention of Western Union. People will know this company from their remittance solutions to send cash around the world in a matter of minutes. When mobile messaging and global payment meet, something interesting is created on the spot.

This partnership between both companies will let Viber users send money to anyone in the world, without even having to visit a Western Union office. That being said, this feature will only be available to US users, and there will be a pickup limit of US$499 per transaction. At the same time, users will be able to collect funds from any Western Union location in the over 200 supported countries.

There is no denying mobile payments are becoming more popular, and Viber has a large user base to target. Western Union makes remittance solutions straightforward, and their partnership creates a user experience for hundreds of millions of users around the globe.Sending money from the comfort of one’s mobile device is an excellent use case for remittance providers.

Keeping in mind how people use social messaging applications such as Viber to stay in touch with friends and family, it only makes sense to leverage the power of instant money transfers through such a platform. The Western Union is the first step along the way for Viber venturing into the world of mobile payment solutions.

Bitcoin Remains Cheaper But Lacks Adoption

On paper, it would make more sense for companies such as Viber to integrate Bitcoin into a remittance tool. The popular digital currency is cheaper and offers a global appeal as well. Plus, services such as Bitpesa are already working with Bitcoin in the remittance sector, to a moderate level of success so far.

At the same time, Bitcoin lacks adoption in both developed and emerging markets. Western Union is the market leader in the remittance sector, and it will take a lot of time until Bitcoin can become a contender. That being said, the modern digital currency offers cheap and instant transfers around the world, regardless of which device is being used.

What are your thoughts on the partnership between Western Union and Viber? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Finextra

Images courtesy of Viber, Western Union, Shutterstock

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Viber And Western Union Create Mobile Remittance Solution Despite Cheaper Bitcoin Option

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