Philippines Banks Ink Deals to Adopt Visa Blockchain Payments Platforms

Philippines Banks Ink Deals to Adopt Visa Blockchain Payments Platforms

Feb 15, 2018

Five banks in the Philippines have reportedly inked deals to adopt financial services giant Visa’s blockchain payments platform.

Philippines Banks Ink Deals to Adopt Visa Blockchain Payments Platforms

The regional effort is being spearheaded by the publicly-listed Union Bank, which is headquartered in Manila, and the firm has already signed on four rural banks, according to a report in the Philippine News Agency.

Visa first announced the blockchain platform — a business-to-business payments service aptly dubbed B2B Connect — in 2016, and a trial version of the service launched last year.

Its primary use case is for cross-border payments, as the blockchain ledger cuts out the need for an expensive middleman.

UnionBank was the first financial institution in the country to begin trialing B2B Connect, and it said that the goal of this new partnership is to help smaller banks increase the efficiency of their payment flows.

“We’re co-creating the blockchain platform to be used by the rural banks,” said Henry Rhoel Aguda, UnionBank’s senior executive vice president and chief technology and operations officer, adding that the partnership would help the smaller banks “elevate their capabilities.”

Bullish on Blockchain, Bearish on Bitcoin

However, Visa’s embrace of blockchain technology does not extend to Bitcoin, the invention that first introduced this revolutionary technology.

As Strategic Coin reported, VISA CEO Alfred Kelly has stated that the payment processing giant has no plans to add support for cryptocurrency-based transactions, either now or in the future.

“I don’t view [bitcoin] as payment system player,” Kelly said, adding that he believes it is a “speculative commodity” rather than a currency. “We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions.”

Nevertheless, other leading financial institutions are beginning to warm to cryptocurrency-based blockchain products. Leading money transfer firms Western Union and MoneyGram, for example, have each begun trialing xRapid, a blockchain liquidity solution developed by San Francisco-based startup Ripple.

This product uses the company’s XRP token to reduce the amount of capital that institutions need to maintain liquidity in emerging markets while also allowing them to settle transactions in real time.

Strategic Coin is a leading research and advisory firm for companies planning to integrate blockchain capabilities into their business model via utility token launches. Our customer research reports provide qualitative and quantitative analysis of token use cases and platform value. With the Strategic Coin Advantage network of partners, we offer customized services for the pre-launch, full-launch, and post-launch phases of Token Generation Events (TGEs).

Featured Image from Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr