Blockchain 

Alfa-Bank, Commerzbank Pilot Cross-Border Payments on R3’s Marco Polo

Alfa-Bank and Novolipetsk Steel Company (NLMK), in cooperation with Commerzbank and Vesuvius GmbH, are piloting Russia-Germany cross-border payments on R3’s Marco Polo network. Powered by R3’s Marco Polo Blockchain Global Trade Network On Oct. 11, Alfa-Bank announced that it is launching a foreign trade finance pilot transaction, with the cooperation of NLMK, Commerzbank and Vesuvius GmbH using R3’s Corda-powered Marco Polo Network. In the announcement, Alfa-Bank described itself as Russia’s largest financial institution measured by total assets, total equity, deposit and loan portfolios. The cross-border payment pilot aims to build…

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Blockchain 

Finastra Joins RippleNet to Support Cheaper Cross-Border Payments

United Kingdom-based financial software firm Finastra has partnered with Ripple to join RippleNet, a global blockchain payments network with over 200 members. Faster integration with partners As officially announced by Ripple on Oct. 9, the new partnership will allow hundreds of Finastra’s customers to connect and transact with RippleNet to provide faster and cheaper cross-border payments. In turn, over 200 financial institutions on RippleNet will have access to Finastra’s network of banks, allowing mutual customers to access and partner with each other, the firm stated. Users will be able to…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain Adoption as a Cure for Cross-Border Trading

In August of 2019, both the United States and Thailand announced their plans to test blockchain applications for tracking and managing shipments. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is planning to test a blockchain application against their current system to determine how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can improve its existing processes. Thailand, on the other hand, plans to use IBM’s blockchain-based logistics platform Tradelens to improve customs processes such as data sharing. Originally developed in a joint venture between IBM and logistics giant Maersk, Tradelens seeks to streamline processes…

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Blockchain 

Wells Fargo to Pilot DLT-Based Cross-Border Settlement Platform

American financial services company Wells Fargo & Company is planning to launch a pilot of a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based internal settlement service in 2020. In a Sept. 17 press release, Wells Fargo described a DLT-based platform designed to perform internal book transfers of international payments within its global network using digitized cash. The company claimed that it has already successfully tested the concept of money transfers between the United States and Canada. Achievement of nearly real-time money transactions The impetus for the idea was the realization of nearly real-time…

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Bitcoin 

Bitex Partners With Bantotal For More Cross-Border Payments in Latin America

Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Bitex has partnered with Uruguay-based financial software company Bantotal in order to expand it cross-border payments system on the Bitcoin blockchain to Latin America. CoinDesk announced the companies’ new partnership in a report on Aug. 13. According to the report, the upshot of this partnership is that Bantotal’s clients will have access to Bitex’s exchange services via a marketplace that hosts traditional financial services in its BDevelopers program. Per the report, Bitex will act as a middleman service for cross-border payments. The exchange’s role is to convert…

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Blockchain 

SWIFT Vs. Ripple — The Importance of Speed in Cross-Border Payments

The emergence of blockchain technology has undoubtedly altered the course of global digital payment development. With the likes of Ripple and Facebook’s Libra challenging the monopoly of banks and other financial institutions, mainstream players like SWIFT, Visa and Mastercard have been forced to seek significant improvements to the legacy system. Moving forward, the burning issue appears to be relevance. Blockchain systems run on the premise of replacing the legacy system with a more secure and efficient payment infrastructure. The mainstream players seem forced to face the quintessential evolutionary puzzle of…

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Ethereum 

Facebook’s Libra Concept Will Impact Cross-Border Payments: Ex-PBoC Chief

A former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has indicated that Beijing may delegate the issuance of digital currency to commercial entities, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported on July 11. Zhou Xiaochuan, who stood down as head of the central bank in 2018 after 15 years, revealed the country may adopt a new approach for its sovereign digital currency scheme — taking inspiration from Hong Kong’s monetary system and Facebook’s Libra project. In Hong Kong, three banks issue their own banknotes and collateralize them by holding US dollars in reserve, while the…

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Ethereum 

XRP, Libra and Visa to Fight It Out for Cross-Border Remittance Crown

The increased penetration of cryptocurrency in the digital payment arena appears to be affecting the landscape of cross-border remittances. Financial institutions and other mainstream establishments are now jostling with blockchain startups for control over an industry that could possibly experience massive growth over the next few years. With more participants comes greater competition and an emphasis on creating the most robust operating technology. To achieve this aim, some players are leveraging their status as giants of their respective mainstream fields while others are pursuing partnerships and collaborations. For historically unbanked and underbanked areas…

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Blockchain 

Visa Launches Global Cross-Border Network Based on Certain Aspects of Blockchain

United States’ payment giant Visa has launched a cross-border payment network derived from some aspects of blockchain technology, Reuters reports June 11. The network, called “Visa B2B Connect,” is designed to facilitate international payments made by global financial institutions by enabling direct interbanking transactions between businesses and beneficiaries. According to the report, the network already covers 30 trade channels worldwide to enable faster and cheaper cross-border payments, and is expected to expand to 90 markets by the end of 2019. Visa B2B Connect is partially based on blockchain technology, containing…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain Credit Union Consortium to Use R3’s Corda for Cross-Border Payments Product

CULedger, a blockchain consortium and credit union service organization (CUSO), has chosen enterprise software firm R3’s Corda blockchain to underpin its forthcoming cross-border payments product. The news was reported by fintech news outlet Finextra on May 21. As reported, CULedger joined the R3 global blockchain ecosystem in December 2018. The blockchain CUSO implements the technology to improve cybersecurity and mitigate fraud risks, as well as to streamline administrative and operational processes for the credit union industry. CULedger also provides a specific blockchain-based identification solution for credit union members. CULedger’s forthcoming…

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