Financial institutions and their end users are set to be benefit from blockchain APIs released by Mastercard, intended to allow organisations to test their own capabilities.
Developers from these institutions will be able to harness the Mastercard blockchain APIs to work on their own capabilities, targeting area such as cross-border payments and transparency.
While financial institutions are being targeted with this new initiative, Mastercard is also aiming to enhance the banking experience for end users.
Mastercard Labs executive vice president Ken Moore, said: “By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale.”
“When it comes to payments, we want to provide choice and flexibility to our partners where they are able to seamlessly use both our existing and new payment rails based on the needs and requirements of their customers,” said Moore.
Cross-border payments have been a primary focus area recently for organisations working with blockchain, with major influential organisations including JPMorgan and IBM working to disrupt the original process.
IBM is approaching this challenge with cryptocurrency, working alongside the likes of currency exchange service KlickEx, and a blockchain startup called Stellar. This ambitious plan is set to be launched across a number of companies, ultimately preventing capital being tied up in foreign banks.
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JPMorgan is also focussing on cross-border payments, looking to accelerate the traditionally complex, arduous process, making it possible in real time. The Royal Bank of Canada is working with JPMorgan on the delivery of this project, which is also planned to have security at its core.
Also driving the widespread uptake of blockchain technology and particularly cross-border payments, a group of European banks including HSBC, are specifically targeting SME businesses in Europe.