Visa Begins Testing B2B Connect

Visa has begun testing its new cross-border B2B payments solution B2B Connect, according to various reports on Monday (Jan. 22).

Inquirer Business reports said UnionBank in the Philippines has successfully piloted the solution before its commercial launch in the third quarter of the year.

“Visa B2B Connect takes on an innovative approach and eliminates friction for cross-border transactions by using distributed ledger technology to enhance the speed, security and reliability of these transactions,” said Visa Asia-Pacific Head of B2B Partnerships Vikram Kshettry in a statement.

“Interoperability is a big consideration, and this is what Visa already has on scale and globally — and that makes this very real, very possible and very workable [by] enhancing the trust that we have, enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the bank, enhancing customer experience and, at the same time, allowing us in UnionBank to build our capability working with a world-class organization like Visa,” said UnionBank Chair Justo Ortiz in another statement.

UnionBank is one of several FIs working with Visa to pilot and roll out B2B Connect.

Another is Shinhan Financial Group, based in South Korea, which also announced Monday that it is developing another blockchain-based solution to provide integrated authentication solutions for the nation’s financial services market. The initiative was announced in collaboration with blockchain firm Blocko and joins the bank’s existing collaboration with Visa on B2B Connect, as well as with Japan Bank Consortium and Woori Bank, to pilot another blockchain project, EconoTimes reported.

UnionBank and Shinhan Bank were announced as new partners on B2B Connect last November; the initiative now also includes Commerce Bank in the U.S. and United Overseas Bank in Singapore, which will pilot the solution before its official rollout.

“Today, making cross-border corporate payments can be a cumbersome, lengthy and friction-filled process for financial institutions and their corporate clients. Using technology based on blockchain architecture, Visa B2B Connect simplifies this process by sending transactions over Visa’s network from the bank of origin directly to the recipient bank,” Visa said at the time in its press release.