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Mastercard to Develop New Blockchain-Powered Cross-Border Payments

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Mastercard and R3, an enterprise blockchain software provider, are developing a new blockchain-enabled cross-border payments solution to simplify clearance of global payments and money transfer.

Mastercard and R3 will connect global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks globally.

According to Peter Klein, executive vice president of New Payment Platforms for Mastercard: “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”

Earlier this year, Mastercard strengthened its cross-border network reach with its acquisition of Transfast. Today’s announcement complements the company’s formidable capabilities 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.

The deal is under Mastercard’s multi-rail strategy to give customers more choice on how they move money. The firm believes that combining R3’s expertise in blockchain with its existing payment systems assets, brand and distribution will provide great value add services for customers.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added: “We are excited to partner with Mastercard to help shape the future of the digital payments ecosystem. 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. Corda was designed specifically for enterprise use cases such as this, and R3 aims to support Mastercard in bringing blockchain-enabled payments businesses across the globe.

Recently, Mastercard announced it had joined Marco Polo Network to advance global trade through optimized financing. The Marco Polo Network, a trade and working capital finance network with over 25 member banks aims to unlock what the World Trade Organization has identified as a potential $1.5 trillion[1] opportunity in global trade finance.

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Mastercard Track™, a B2B global trade enablement platform, and the Marco Polo Network are collaborating to provide more businesses with trusted access to Marco Polo’s trade and working capital finance solutions. Companies of all sizes will benefit from better visibility into trading relationships and easier access to financing options, beyond point to point relationships, to a global network of trading parties.

Launched in the fall of 2018, Mastercard Track unifies access to business identity information through a secure, permissioned repository of more than 210 million registered entities worldwide. Interoperating with leading business to business digital providers, Mastercard Track reduces the time it takes for businesses to identify, vet and onboard new trading partners – and simplifies the end-to-end payment process.

Better and faster access to critical information will work as a catalyst for businesses using the Marco Polo network – which is powered by the trusted Corda blockchain technology from enterprise software company R3 – to tap into working capital provided by global financial institutions.

“When there is trust, there will be trade”, commented Claire Thompson, EVP Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. “By connecting our Mastercard Track platform with a leading group such as Marco Polo we’re further lowering the barriers to access trade finance for business of all sizes globally. We’re excited about scaling a connected digital trade ecosystem together.”

“The future of enterprise technology is in integrated systems which break down siloes and enable seamless interaction between services”, said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3. “That is exactly the promise of blockchain platforms like Corda across enterprise activity. Through this collaboration between the Marco Polo Network and Mastercard, I’m excited to see the opportunities to connect together and create more joined up, efficient and effective trade finance processes for both institutions and enterprises.”


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