MasterCard leaps onto block-chain payment tools

Mastercard, the credit card giant is pushing ahead with a set of blockchain payment tools first unveiled last year, opening to merchants and banks for wider use.

The company released a press release in which it announced that it would be working on a business to business transaction system with the block-chain technology, as an attempt to address challenges of speed, transparency and costs in cross-border payments.

Mastercard unveiled the block-chain product in October 2016 that was aimed at smart contracts and payment settlement processes. At that ceremony the project lead said the company was looking for collaborators to work with the technology. Mastercard is encouraging firms and businesses to settle their transactions through the new block-chain API which can improve the efficiency ultimately reducing the friction of cross border payments.

Ken Moore, Mastercard Labs’ executive vice president said “By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable and easy to scale.”

Pinkham, a senior vice president says “Mastercard has one advantage that the bitcoin blockchain doesn’t have: A settlement network that includes 22,000 banks and financial institutions around the world”. (IBM has announced 13 banks that it plans to include in its network.) Pinkham adds, companies still predominantly rely on government-issued currency to do business, making it impractical to convert cash into cryptocurrency, or vice versa, for each blockchain payment. “Even in the bitcoin system you need a bitcoin exchange that could exchange bitcoin for euro, so it creates some complications,”

The company intends to combine its blockchain API with other services to allow partner banks and merchants to iterate on the best possible use of the technology. The company has made some acknowledgeable efforts to seek intellectual property rights to implement some new technology within the company.


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