Mastercard has joined forces with R3 to develop a blockchain-powered cross-border payments system connecting global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks supported by a clearing and settlement network operated by the card giant.
The plan, which will initially build towards a pilot, brings together Mastercard's payment systems assets, brand and distribution with R3's blockchain expertise.
Mastercard has been looking to boost its cross-border efforts, recently acquiring Transfast to increase its worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space. The latest deal adds to this by providing access to R3’s Corda ecosystem, which includes more than 300 of the world’s leading financial services firms, technology companies, central banks, regulators and trade associations.
Peter Klein, EVP, new payments platforms, Mastercard, says: "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. It confirms our commitment to innovation, both home-grown and through partnerships and acquisitions, to support advances and innovation in the increasingly complex global payment infrastructure space."
David Rutter, CEO, R3, adds: "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."
The R3 agreement comes just days after Mastercard joined the blockchain-based Marco Polo trade finance network.
The card firm's rival Visa is also working hard in the space, recently officially launching its distributed ledger-based, non-card platform for high-value corporate, cross-border payments, B2B Connect.