MasterCard opens its blockchain to developers for cross-border payments

Mastercard logo.jpg

There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard even for blockchain as reported by ZDNet. This opens up new opportunities for merchants and financial institutions alike to apply this technological trend to their own e-commerce-related foray into cloud-based solutions.

The kind of blockchain technology that MasterCard has at the moment is especially intended for the business-to-business (B2B) community. The legendary payment platform conducted its own tests for the sake of addressing known issues associated with cross-border payments, speed (when it comes to transaction) and business transparency.

MasterCard Labs EVP Ken Moore attributed the feasibility of its version of the blockchain technology to “a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale.” The ideas were sourced from the clientele base that MasterCard has nurtured through the years. “They are able to seamlessly use both our existing and new payment rails based on the needs and requirements of their customers,” Moore explained.

MasterCard even prepared a video presentation hosted by its Payment Innovation Manager at MasterCard Labs, Ricardo Sota. Sota detailed how the company created its own version of blockchain and said there is an intent to apply the technology to enterprise-related money transfers.

According to Sota, the MasterCard blockchain is a permissioned blockchain, which will allow participants to maintain the distributed ledger without sacrificing scalability or performance.”

MasterCard said its main differentiators of its technology versus that of competitors are:

  • Spanning privacy
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Reach of the company’s settlement network

These are crucial dealmakers as summed up by MasterCard in one sentence. “Our blockchain technology can be used for clearing in near real-time card payment transactions eliminating consolidation and improving settlement.”

MasterCard’s blockchain has been created to solve the need for commercial processing speed. Having a payment network that encompasses 22,000 financial institutions in the MasterCard database alone, several MasterCard users can end up reaping the benefits of a registered cardholder.

Sota also elaborated on how MasterCard has opened its API, leaving room for other developers to apply it to non-payment transactions “like proof of purchase or authenticity.” As this technology has become associated with supply chain transactions, the open-door policy might be an opportunity to develop electronic versions of bill of lading, warehouse receipts and other documents used in freight movement.

Speed and accuracy are the main selling points that MasterCard has put forward to adapt to the e-commerce community. The company also sees its blockchain technology as a way to boost usage of existing products like virtual cards. The initiative to cloak in MasterCard Send and Vocalink served as a way to address issues over sending money in B2B transactions whether it’s in the blockchain or cross-border.

But what got most blockchain enthusiasts is MasterCard’s decision to join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. As there are still services that MasterCard has yet to offer, its inclusions in the highly-anticipated alliance will help it develop further financial services that are not yet in its portfolio.

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