Project Libra To Rely On New Infrastructure
Smarter Payments

Meet Facebook Libra’s Founding Architects

As payments become smarter, they will require a new underlying ecosystem to support them. The urgency to develop more efficient infrastructures is being driven by the rise of the global economy, with banks and businesses seeking solutions that enable them to move money between borders swiftly and securely.

The new Smarter Payments Tracker examines how the financial services landscape is shifting to upgrade existing payment infrastructures or develop entirely new systems to deliver faster, more secure payments.

Developments From Around The Smarter Payments World

In the search for more efficient cross-border solutions, many banks and businesses are realizing it pays to have partners in the effort.

Several European banks, for example, are collaborating on a pilot program that will enable them to use SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) through the pan-European TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) rail. Under the SWIFT pilot, the participating banks — Banque Internationale á Luxembourg, BBVA, Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Santander, Sberbank and UniCredit — will be able to transmit cross-border payments in real time, as well as use TIPS to settle them and provide instant crediting to recipients’ bank accounts.

The SWIFT gpi pilot is not the only partnership aimed at improving the cross-border payments infrastructure. Italian banking startup illimity will work with German FinTech Raisin on a new cross-border deposit solution. Under the partnership, illimity will provide deposit accounts through Raisin’s WeltSparen deposits portal and Open Banking platform. Both firms also plan to expand illimity’s cross-border deposit accounts to the broader EU market.

Cross-border B2B payments are the focus of another partnership between Wells Fargo and TransferMate. Under the partnership, TransferMate’s Global Invoice Connect service will be available for Wells Fargo’s international business clients. The partnership aims to reduce administrative expenses and manual input by automatically matching invoice amounts received with amounts owed. The platform will support the U.S. dollar, and currencies from more than 50 countries, through a local funds transfer.

Deep Dive: Why Smarter Payments Require Smarter Infrastructure

Cross-border B2B payments accounted for $125 billion in revenue last year. Given the high volume and value of cross-border commerce, banks, businesses and FinTech firms are realizing the need to support their business clients with a cross-border payments process that is fast and transparent, and makes foreign exchange (FX) conversion seamless. However, many firms are also realizing that traditional correspondent banking practices are not up to task.

Find a Deep Dive, outlining how financial players are working to modernize payment infrastructures for cross-border needs, inside the Tracker.

Facebook’s Libra Initiative Creates Strange Bedfellows

While companies work to overhaul existing payment infrastructures, the latest venture by social media giant Facebook will require new infrastructures to be created from scratch. Facebook’s initiative, Project Libra, will bring more than two dozen companies together into a consortium known as the Libra Association, which will be responsible for shaping its agenda.

In the new Tracker, executives from three Libra Association companies — Jorn Lambert, executive vice president of digital solutions at Mastercard; Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer for online retailer Farfetch; and Tom Jones, chief operating officer for nonprofit Women’s World Banking — outlined their respective visions for what Libra’s underlying infrastructure should accomplish.

To get the full story, download the Tracker.

About The Tracker

The Smarter Payments Tracker, a PYMNTS and InstaReM collaboration, is the go-to monthly resource for staying up to date on the development of a new global payments landscape in which the transmission of data is as valuable as the currency it accompanies. The Tracker explores how the smooth flow of payments data can improve existing payment ecosystems, including improved speed, security and insights.

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