Editorial

Visa partners with IBM for new Digital Identity service

A Blockchain-based Digital Identity system for cross-border payments from the pair set for Q1 2019 launch

Posted 23 October 2018 by

Get ready for Visa B2B Connect – a distributed ledger-based platform from Visa designed to give financial institutions a “simple, fast and secure way” to process cross border business-to-business payments globally.

Scheduled for release in the first three months of 2019, the system’s pre-announced Digital Identity features are claimed to tokenise an organisation’s sensitive business information such as banking details and account numbers, giving them a unique identifier that can be used to facilitate transactions on the platform.

Encompassing safety, security and governance all in one solution, B2B Connect’s digital identity feature will transform the way information is exchanged in business-to-business cross-border transactions claims the card service provider, which now prefers to style itself a provider of digital payment solutions.

“With B2B Connect, we’re developing a new way for businesses to make cross border, high value payments – fixing broken processes and breaking down geographic barriers along the way,” claimed the global head of Visa Business Solutions, at the company, Kevin Phalen.

“B2B Connect will facilitate payments for financial institutions for a variety of industry verticals, including supply chain, trade, institutional banking and more, adds the company, before noting that is planned approach to Digital Identity greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud that might otherwise exist with cheques, Automated Clearing House (electronic money transfer) and wire transfers today, while also helping companies remain compliant as part of the regulated financial ecosystem.

A number of tech partners are involved in the scheme, including IBM’s Blockchain business and Bottomline Technologies. IBM seems to be helping integrate the Hyperledger Fabric framework from the Linux Foundation with Visa’s core platform, while the latter has been signed up as the first formal B2B Connect partner.

“When industry leaders in payments and in financial services technology work together using Open Source technology, the entire business landscape stands to benefit,” said Jason Kelley, general manager, IBM Blockchain Services. “IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger technology are delivering real business value today, and B2B Connect is one of the most powerful examples to date of how blockchain is transforming payments.”