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.
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.