Visa Europe is looking for banking partners to participate in a pilot project exploring the application of blockchain technology in domestic and cross-border funds transfers.
The project will be run by Visa's innovation unit, Visa Europe Collab, in conjunction with Vancouver-based blockchain outfit BTL.
Visa says the proof-of-concept will use BTL's interbank settlement platform Interbit to explore the ways in which a blockchain-based settlements can reduce the friction of domestic and cross border transfers between banks - reducing cost, settlement time, credit risk, and by applying smart contracts to automate many of the regulation and compliance requirements of domestic and international transfers.
Hendrik Kleinsmiede, co-founder and innovation partner at Visa Europe Collab, says participating banks will be able to connect to the network and send funds to other banks in the network across multiple currencies.
"For me the opportunity is a fascinating and potentially very beneficial one," he says. "Through the use of smart contracts and blockchains I believe we can create a fast, compliant and low-cost interbank payment and settlement service, with embedded regional compliance."
This is not the first time Visa has dabbled with blockchain technologies. In September last year, the card scheme's innovation unit kicked off a two-month POC in collaboration with Epiphyte to simulate real-world remittance transactions using the bitcoin blockchain.