Mastercard has joined forces with R3 to develop a blockchain-powered cross-border payments system connecting global faster payments infrastructures.
In an announcement on Wednesday, Mastercard said the two firms have signed a deal to develop and pilot the payments solution. The collaboration plan brings together Mastercard’s payment systems assets, brand and distribution with R3’s blockchain expertise.
The partnering firms want to tackle industry issues such as costly payments processing, liquidity management and a row of standardization and connectivity issues 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.”
According to the press release this is part of Mastercard’s plans to strengthen its cross border payments network, expanding on its recent acquisition of global payments company Transfast earlier this year.
The collaboration with R3 is part of the payment giant’s multi-rail strategy, which aims to improve worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account interactions.
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, Executive Vice President of New Payments Platforms at Mastercard, stated:
“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, added:
“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.