Mastercard Takes Blockchain Mainstream with API

Mastercard announced it has tested and validated its blockchain and will be opening access to it via a set of three APIs published on the Mastercard Developers website. The APIs include the Blockchain Core API, the Smart Contracts API, and the Fast Pay Network API.

Mastercard will pilot the blockchain for use in the business-to-business space, implementing it to increase speed and transparency in payments and decrease costs for cross-border payments. The blockchain solution aims to offer a new way for consumers, businesses, and banks to transact. The company describes it as the “key” to its strategy of providing payment solutions that “meet every need of financial institutions and their end-customers.”

Mastercard’s blockchain operates independently of a digital currency. As Justin Pinkham, a senior vice president at Mastercard Labs told Forbes, “We are not using a cryptocurrency, and we are not introducing a new cryptocurrency, because that introduces other challenges—regulatory, legal challenges. If you do a payment, then what we can do is move those funds in the way that we do today in fiat currency.”

The company lists four main differentiators of its blockchain:

  • Privacy — Mastercard ensures that transaction details are only shared among individuals who are a party to the transaction.
  • Flexibility — it can be used in combination with other Mastercard APIs; SDKs are available in six different languages.
  • Scalability — it is designed for commercial processing speeds.
  • Reach — it is integrated into Mastercard’s payment network, which includes 22,000 financial institutions.

“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 of 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.”

The company’s rival Visa has also began working with the blockchain. Last October, the company announced it had teamed up with Chain to launch a blockchain-based B2B payments service called Visa B2B Connect. Neither companies have made firm announcements regarding blockchain use cases for end consumers.

Founded in 1966, Mastercard demoed its Cash Pick-Up ATM solution at FinovateFall last month. Cash Pick-Up allows the sender to disburse cash to banked and unbanked consumers without a card at an ATM. In addition to today’s blockchain developments, the company has recently joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to explore possible use cases for Ethereum.

Finovate Alumni News

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  • Efigence Teams Up with Alior Bank, Telekom Romania to Help Launch Telekom Banking.
  • Mastercard Takes Blockchain Mainstream with API.
  • Zighra Launches Flagship Continuous Authentication Product.
  • Stash Reveals Plans to Launch Mobile-First Banking Service.

Around the web

  • Latvian Bank Citadele secures mobile and online banking with VASCO’s DIGIPASS for Apps and CRONTO
  • Azimo’s momentum continues with triple-digit growth.
  • Visa to offer ThreatMetrix technologies through its Visa ID Intelligence platform.
  • Lendio joins lending platform association.
  • Dream Payments unveils its point of sale solution for First Data’s Clover merchants.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • TASCET Teams with Secured2 to Launch Algo5 Data Security Offering.
  • NYMBUS Launches Digital-First Banking Platform, NYMBUS SmartDigital.

Around the web

  • Mastercard and PayPal expand partnership to Canada, Europe, LatinAm, Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa.
  • Affirmative Technologies partners with TransCard to provide electronic payment processing for SMBs.
  • FICO introduces new payment card fraud detection models.
  • Arxan receives ISO 13485 certification.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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  • Enabled by AI, Self-Service Is the Future of Banking

Around the web

  • eWise offers free access to Categorization-as-a-Service (CaaS) API.
  • Mastercard to introduce contactless payments in Myanmar courtesy of partnership with Co-Operative Limited Bank (CB Bank).
  • Michigan-based Marshall Community Credit Union hires Insuritas.
  • Tesobe announcing APIDays Berlin on 7 & 8 November
  • Pascal Gauthier nominated President of cryptocurrency & blockchain security company Ledger
  • Hyundai Capital America joins the AutoGravity car shopping and financing platform
  • Coinbase announces Ethereum & Litecoin vaults
  • Pirean’s Access: One wins Cloud Security Product of the Year at the 2017 Computing Cloud Excellence Awards.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Mastercard

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Mastercard Cash Pick-Up allows banks and their disburser customers to deliver cash quickly, securely, and easily to any vetted consumer – banked and unbanked – through enabled ATMs, without a card.

Features

  • Available for use by banked and unbanked consumers
  • No card or smartphone is necessarily required
  • Leverages Mastercard’s global network of ATMs

Why it’s great
Getting cash to people can be expensive and inconvenient. This solution, delivered through banks, gives disbursers and recipients more choice in sending and receiving cash.

Presenters

Dan Goodman, SVP, ATM Product Management
Goodman focuses on building the ATM product line strategy, delivering compelling solutions for consumers and issuers, and growing profitability.
LinkedIn

 

Greg Barrett, VP, Product Development & Innovation for Global Credit and Debit
Barrett has over 20 years’ experience developing and managing technology products across various industries.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

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  • Bambu Wins Strategic Investment from Franklin Templeton.

Around the web

  • NBKC Taps Gro Solutions for Consumer Account Opening; Partners In Development of Business Account Opening Solution.
  • Pymnts: ShopKeep Enters Small Business Lending Market.
  • CSI globalVCard Partners with Mutual of Omaha Bank.
  • Mastercard partners with Garmin to offer customers a contactless payment watch.
  • American Banker looks at the partnership between D3 Banking and First Tennessee Bank.
  • Ping Identity to provide hub for UK Open Banking framework.
  • Braintree introduces support for Apple Pay and Android Pay in Australia.
  • MyChoiceTech reviews Eversafe, an anti-fraud solution geared toward seniors.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Behalf Teams Up with FinWise Bank to Boost Small Business Lending Options
  • Samsung to Power Biometric Authentication Pilot for Bank of America
  • ACH Alert’s Fraud Prevention HQ Empowers Account Holders to Stop Suspicious Transactions

Around the web

  • PayPal unveils two new innovation labs in India.
  • Albany, New York-based SEFCU chooses Fiserv as technology partner.
  • FICO selects Amazon Web Services as its cloud provider.
  • SF Chronicle profiles mortgagetech innovator, Unison, in feature on downpayment assistance for Bay Area homebuyers. Join them next month in New York for FinovateFall.
  • GoBankingRates highlights AutoGravity, M1 Finance, Venmo, Mint in list of best personal finance apps
  • ID.me hires Julie Filion as Chief Marketing Officer.
  • eMoney Advisor moving into Rhode Island offices, expects to hire 100 by 2020.
  • Flywire Offers Summertime Deal for International Tuition Payments with Mastercard.
  • StreetShares adds Heather Tuason as new Chief Product Officer.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kabbage Collects $250 Million Investment from SoftBank.
  • Huntington National Bank Chooses PFM, BFM Solutions from Barcelona-based Strands.

Around the web

  • Mastercard and Paypal deepen Asia Pacific partnership.
  • GlobalOnePay teams up with InvoiceASAP to improve electronic invoicing for SMEs.
  • Fidor Bank launches fintech education program in Singapore.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

PayPal’s Venmo Goes Head-to-Head with Zelle, Square Cash, and… Amazon

PayPal EVP and COO Bill Ready recently reminisced how, in 1998, the company launched its first product, one that allowed users to beam money from one Palm Pilot to another. While the hardware has changed, the “beaming money” idea remains the same. In this race to real-time payments, the San Jose-based company announced this week that it has leveraged the partnerships it formed last year with Visa and Mastercard to offer users faster payments.

The new service will allow PayPal and Venmo users to send funds in minutes instead of the two-to-three day timeframe that is typical with most ACH transfers. Expediting funds will come at a cost, however. Users can expect to pay $0.25 per transaction if they want to send funds in real-time (or up to 30 minutes in some cases). The functionality is already available for select PayPal users and will be available for all U.S. PayPal users with eligible Visa and Mastercard debit cards “over the coming weeks and months” and available to Venmo users later this summer.

Zelle

When compared to Zelle, which runs on its former namesake, the clearXchange network, PayPal’s instant payment option is certainly more expensive than Zelle’s free option. PayPal’s advantage over Zelle is that it offers a standalone mobile and web app, while Zelle– as a bank-owned payments app– is more confined. While there are rumors Zelle plans to launch a standalone app, for now it must be hosted within a bank’s website or mobile app. It is worth noting, however, that PayPal’s model isn’t the same as Zelle’s, which is strictly a payment rails network among a group of banks.

Square Cash

Because of this, it is more fitting to compare PayPal’s offering to Square cash, which offers P2P money transfers and holds a user’s balance until they “cash out” or transfer it back into their checking account. Square also offers an instant money transfer feature, for which it charges a one percent fee.

Amazon

It is also worth watching Amazon in this space. The online retail giant made a move earlier this month to encourage its Prime members to hold a balance in their prepaid Amazon account by offering 2 percent cash back on purchases using their Amazon account balance. Similar to PayPal and Square Cash, Amazon does not pay interest on users’ balances, and thus stands to profit from the cash (which, by the way, cannot be transferred back to a user’s account– it must be used on an Amazon purchase). Of course, Amazon’s balance option is just a glorified gift card (for now). However, if enough users are compelled by the 2% cash back offer, we can expect to see the online retailer debut more banking features, stepping on banks’ toes and into territory PayPal has held for almost 20 years.

PayPal’s Braintree recently presented at FinDEVr New York 2016. The company also showcased its Instant Account Creation feature at FinovateFall 2012. Mastercard and Visa both presented at the first FinDEVr, held in San Francisco in 2014, where Mastercard showed off its Developer Zone and Visa demonstrated its API-less web integration and SDK web integration.

Finovate Alumni News

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  • Stratumn Lands $7.8 Million, Forms Strategic Partnership with NASDAQ.
  • Check out previews of upcoming FinDEVr London presentations next week:

Around the web

  • Bankjoy partners with SafeAmerica CU to build new omnichannel banking platform.
  • SumUp hires Ryan O’Connor as Managing Director for the U.S.
  • Top Image Systems consolidates Executive Management Team.
  • Solomoto and Bluevine partner to offer credit lines and digital marketing to small businesses globally.
  • Mastercard launches comprehensive digital payment solution for small and midsized businesses.
  • Independent Bank to leverage Insuritas to serve the bank’s 250,000+ customers.
  • Ruth Wandhöfer, Global Head of Regulatory and Market Strategy at Citi, joins Pendo Systems’ board.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.