Kasikornbank (KBank) has become the first Thai financial institution to join Visa’s B2B Connect blockchain pilot programme.
B2B Connect is a blockchain based cross-border payment platform. Visa envisions a system that offers three key capabilities. Firstly, transparency by providing real-time notification and finality of payment for banks and their clients. Secondly, security as a result of cryptographically linked transactions provides an immutable record. And finally, trust as all parties are known and will work on a private blockchain.
Visa hopes this will remove some of the friction inherent to cross-border transactions.
The original aim was a commercial launch in mid-2018 but the program is currently still in the pilot phase.
Since 2016 the payment giant has been working on the platform with Chain.com, the blockchain tech firm that was recently acquired by Stellar. So the big question is what happens next concerning technology?
KBank’s participation will mean that it joins other banks announced last year. These include Commerce Bank in the United States, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, Union Bank of Philippines and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.
Local news outlet The Nation, quoted Suripong Tantiyanon, Country Manager, Visa Thailand saying: “Building on the enterprise blockchain technology, Visa B2B Connect is a new transaction platform designed for the exchange of high-value international payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients. Managed by Visa end-to-end, Visa B2B Connect combines Visa’s core capabilities in security, governance and distributed ledger technology.”
Siriporn Wongtriphop, First Senior Vice President, Kasikornbank added: “Kasikornbank is dedicated to delivering new and innovative solutions for our customers. Through our relationship with Visa, we are excited to be participating in the Visa B2B Connect pilot which is the first step of a new paradigm in reimagining cross-border payment transactions. As the first mover in Thailand, we believe that KBank will be a leader in the industry which benefits KBank’s enterprise clients in terms of more secured payment.”
Other payment systems
UK-based unicorn Transferwise has reached £3 billion a month in transactions, but it’s not based on blockchain. However, there are numerous blockchain payment networks. Stellar founder Jed McCaleb previously founded Ripple which is a major player. IBM recently launched its initiative called World Wire.
And today it was revealed that JP Morgan expanded its payment network to 75 participating banks.