Mastercard, R3 to build new blockchain-based solution for overseas payments

Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with enterprise blockchain firm R3 to develop and pilot a new blockchain-based solution for cross-border payments.

The solution will initially focus on connecting global payments infrastructure and banks supported by Mastercard’s clearing and settlement network, the two companies announced Wednesday.

“Developing a new and better cross-border B2B [business-to-business] payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space is central to Mastercard’s ambition,” said the company's EVP of New Payment Platforms, Peter Klein.

R3 will connect its open-source blockchain platform Corda with Mastercard’s ecosystem. Corda platform includes over 300 global financial services firms, technology companies, central banks, regulators and trade associations.

“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,” said R3 CEO, David E. Rutter.

Just last week, Mastercard also joined blockchain-powered trade finance consortium Marco Polo, which is founded by R3 and TradeIX. The move is aimed at “further lowering the barriers to access trade finance for business of all sizes globally.”