Mastercard offers open access to blockchain API

Credit card giant Mastercard has opened its blockchain API to partner banks and merchants following successful testing and validation of the program.

Last year, Mastercard added three blockchain APIs to its developer platform – blockchain core API, smart contracts API, and fast pay network API –accessible to partners and merchants via its developer site.

The network is expected to increase the speed, transparency, and costs associated with cross-border payments, providing “a new way for consumers, businesses and banks to transact,” Mastercard said in a release.

The credit card giant said its blockchain solution has been engineered to clear secure and seamless non-card payment transactions, such as business-to-business payments and trade finance transactions. It can also power non-payment solutions, such as proof of provenance that helps authenticate products across the supply chain.

“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,” said Ken Moore, executive vice president, Mastercard Labs.

“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,” Moore said.

Mastercard said its blockchain platform has four key differentiators, giving it unique status among existing blockchain API releases:

1. Privacy – ensuring that transaction details are shared only amongst the participants of a transaction, whilst maintaining a fully auditable and valid ledger of transactions.

2. Flexibility – partners can use the blockchain APIs in conjunction with a wider suite of Mastercard APIs to create a range of powerful, new applications.

3. Scalability – designed for commercial processing speed and extensibility by reaching consensus between a trusted network moderator and network participants.

4. Reach – the blockchain is integrated into the company’s payment network, which includes 22,000 financial institutions.

Mastercard said its blockchain technology will complement the company’s existing capabilities, including virtual cards, Mastercard Send, and Vocalink, to support all types of cross-border, business-to-business payment flows – account-based, blockchain-based and card-based.

The credit card giant is not alone in pursuing blockchain-backed innovations in payments. Last week, IBM announced the launch of a high-speed, cross-border blockchain network, allowing participating banks to clear and settle payments in near real-time.


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