Mastercard, R3 to Develop Blockchain Cross-Border Payments Platform

The card giant is to develop a blockchain-powered cross-border payments platform in partnership with enterprise-focused blockchain firm R3.

Sep 11, 2019 at 11:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:26 a.m. UTC

Payments giant Mastercard is to develop a blockchain-powered cross-border payments platform in partnership with enterprise-focused blockchain firm R3.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Mastercard said the two firms have inked a deal to "develop and pilot" the payments solution. It will initially be aimed at connecting faster payments schemes and banks backed by Mastercard's clearing and settlement network.

The platform will be built on Corda Enterprise, the commercial version of the platform, as opposed to the open-source Corda Network, R3 told CoinDesk.

The partnership is planned to merge R3’s expertise at developing blockchain solutions with Mastercard’s existing payment systems and network. Ultimately, the firms hope the new platform will help tackle industry issues such as costly payments processing, liquidity management and a paucity of standardization and connectivity between banks and domestic clearing systems.

R3 CEO David E. Rutter said:

"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.”

Citing its July acquisition of international payments firm Transfast as a boost to its network, Mastercard said the deal to utilize Corda Enterprise will further expand its capabilities in the payments arena.

The news of the partnership also comes just days after Mastercard joined the Marco Polo trade finance blockchain network founded by R3 and TradeIX.

Peter Klein, executive vice president of new payment platforms at Mastercard, said in the announcement:

“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.

Mastercard image via Shutterstock

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