Five banks in the Philippines are reportedly grouping up to use Visa's blockchain-based payment platform.
As part of a new arrangement, the Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) will assist four unnamed rural banks that are seeking to boost the efficiency of their payments processes by building a local platform base on top of Visa's B2B Connect system, according to Philippine News Agency. UnionBank is the first bank in the Philippines to use B2B Connect, the report adds.
"We’re co-creating the blockchain platform to be used by the rural banks," said Henry Rhoel Aguda, UnionBank's senior executive vice president and chief technology and operations officer.
Aguda further indicated that more banks might be included in the program in future. "We want to grow from four right now to as many as we can support," he said.
Credit card giant Visa launched a trial phase of the business-to-business blockchain payments system, built with startup Chain, in November 2017. B2B Connect is designed to ease cross-border payments by allowing payments directly between institutions, thus cutting out the middleman, and is set for commercial launch in the middle of this year.
Also working with Visa on the B2B project are U.S.-based Commerce Bank, South Korea's Shinhan Bank and the United Overseas Bank, based in Singapore.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Chain.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.