25.06.2021

Mastercard Partners With Blockchain Firm R3 for Payments Solution

According to a Mastercard press release published on Sept. 1, the two firms plan to pilot a new blockchain-enabled cross-border payment solution. The system will reportedly focus on connecting global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks.

Mastercard partnered with blockchain firm R3 to develop a cross-border payment solution.

Multiple ways to move money

Per the release, the announcement is part of Mastercard’s plans to strengthen its cross border payments network, building on its acquisition of global payments company Transfast earlier this year.

The partnership with R3 is part of the payment giant’s multi-rail strategy, which sees customers choosing how their funds should be moved.

Mastercard executive vice president of new payment platforms Peter Klein commented on the development:

“Developing a new and better cross-border B2B payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space is central to Mastercard’s ambition. 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.”

Mastercard’s interest in blockchain

The partnership builds on the previous relations between the two companies, which publicly manifested also earlier this month when Mastercard joined R3’s Corda-powered Marco Polo Network for trade finance.

Mastercard also showed interest in the cryptocurrency space in August, when the company appeared to be angling to enter the crypto wallet space with new job ads for blockchain and cryptocurrency-related product development.

Mastercard, R3 to Develop a Blockchain Cross-Border Payments Platform

Payments giant Mastercard is to develop a blockchain-powered cross-border payments platform in partnership with enterprise-focused blockchain firm R3.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Mastercard said the two firms have inked a deal to “develop and pilot” the payments solution. It will initially be aimed at connecting faster payments schemes and banks backed by Mastercard’s clearing and settlement network.

The partnership is planned to merge R3’s expertise at developing blockchain solutions with Mastercard’s existing payment systems and network. Ultimately, the firms hope the new platform will help tackle industry issues such as costly payments processing, liquidity management and a paucity of standardization and connectivity 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. 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.”

Citing its July acquisition of international payments firm Transfast as a boost to its network, Mastercard said the deal to utilize R3’s Corda network will further expand its capabilities in the payments arena.

The news of the partnership also comes just days after Mastercard joined the Marco Polo trade finance blockchain network founded by R3 and TradeIX.

Peter Klein, executive vice president of new payment platforms at Mastercard, said in the announcement:

“Developing a new and better cross-border B2B payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space is central to Mastercard’s ambition. 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.

Mastercard Joins Blockchain Software Firm R3’s Marco Polo Network

American financial services giant Mastercard has joined blockchain software company R3’s Corda-powered Marco Polo Network for trade finance.


In a news release published on Sept. 3, Mastercard revealed its participation in the project, a collaboration of R3 and Irish tech company TradeIX that launched in 2017. The initiative provides a multi-asset class platform that offers broker-dealer services and multicurrency transactions, among other services.

The company’s Mastercard Track platform for business-to-business global trade has collaborated with Marco Polo in an attempt to facilitate further development and more working capital finance solutions.

Jacques Levet, transaction banking head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BNP Paribas – one of the Marco Polo Network members – said:

“Better flow of information across the whole value chain has the potential to drive significant benefits for all network members.”

Recently, Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by total assets, joined the Marco Polo Network. Standard Bank will now develop trade finance solutions alongside major global financial institutions such as BNP Paribas and ING.

In April, Marco Polo onboarded three new members for piloting and evaluation purposes, including financial services firm BayernLB, Frankfurt-based bank Helaba, and back office service provider S-Servicepartner.

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