Visa payment card is starting to investigate blockchain technology as a possible solution to address various challenges they face in their day to day systems. To support that purpose, Visa payment card is creating a B2B (business-to-business) platform based on the nascent technology that will serve as an international digital identity system.
Currently, Visa has 2 dedicated blockchain technology groups: Visa Commercial Payments and Visa Research.
Visa Research builds research teams in three key areas:
“Our blockchain research focuses on understanding the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We explore ways to advance the science of blockchain technology and enable the discovery of real-world payment,” the company said, adding that the Senior Staff Research Scientist would “design innovative algorithms and solutions to advance the Blockchain technology with better scalability and higher performance.”
Visa is looking for engineers in the Innovation Centre which is centred around “solving hard problems of the future in IoT (Internet of Things), blockchain technology, mobile, front-end, machine learning, and data analytics.” None of the information and position availabilities are new or a shock to the industry, as back in October 2018 Visa announced an international digital identity system on blockchain called Visa B2B Connect.
The Visa B2B Connect commercial launch is thought to be taking place in the first quarter of 2019. The platform is being tested in banks such as the Commerce Bank in the United States, Shinhan Bank in South Korea, Union Bank of the Philippines and United Overseas Bank in Singapore prior to releasing globally. “As part of the B2B Connect platform, Visa is integrating open source hyperledger fabric framework from the Linux Foundation with Visa’s core assets,” they said in a press release. Further to the exciting inclusion of blockchain into massive financial institutions, information technology giant IBM has announced a payments network, the Stellar protocol, dubbed IBM Blockchain World Wire, and has already signed six international banks to launch their own stablecoins on the network.
Lisa Ellis, a top Wall Street analyst focused on the payments industry, said that cryptocurrencies “are potentially disruptive to private payment systems.” She went on to note that the potential threat of cryptocurrency as a globally accepted, unbranded payment system that upends incumbents like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal is worth watching but is unlikely to occur soon.
It is worth watching as the blockchain is steadily making progress and shortcomings and hurdles are being addressed and resolved.
Brian O’Hagan, marketing manager at the cryptocurrency exchange Coinhouse, said, “MasterCard and Visa will go into blockchain and crypto to experiment, and there will be major changes around these two actors. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of next year, we see major acquisitions from either Visa or MasterCard in the crypto and blockchain space.”
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