The biggest bank by market capitalization in Thailand, Kasikornbank, has become the first financial institution in the Southeast Asian country to get on board the Visa B2B Connect platform. Designed to enable fast and secure cross-border payments between businesses using blockchain technology, the platform relies on a permissioned private blockchain architecture which is operated by global financial services firm, Visa Inc.

According to Visa Thailand’s country manager, Suripong Tantiyanon, the B2B Connect platform makes extensive use of the core capabilities of the global financial services company in governance, security and distributed ledger technology, per The Nation.

“Building on the enterprise blockchain technology, Visa B2B Connect is a new transaction platform designed for the exchange of high-value international payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients,” said Suripong.

Enhanced Transparency

Besides speed and security, Visa B2B Connect platform will also offer increased visibility in the transaction process for Thailand’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets, loans and deposits.

“With our technological capability and network, we are pleased to partner with Kasikornbank to create a more efficient, transparent way for business-to-business payments to be made across the world,” added Suripong.

Announced in October 2016, the Visa B2B Connect platform was developed in partnership with Chain Inc, a cryptographic ledger company based in San Francisco, California, using an enterprise blockchain infrastructure known as Chain Core. As revealed by Visa and Chain at the time, the predictability and transparency of the platform is aided by the fact that banks, as well as their corporate clients, are provided with near real-time notification on the status of transactions.

The first bank-to-bank test transactions on the Visa B2B Connect platform were conducted last year in November with some of the earliest banks to join the program being United States’ Commerce Bank, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank and the Philippines’ Union Bank.

No need for USD

As previously reported by CCN, this is not the first time that Kasikornbank is piloting a blockchain platform for making cross-border payments. In late 2016, for instance, Kasikornbank partnered with International Business Settlement, a Chinese fintech firm, to develop a blockchain platform focused on making cross-country payments between China and Thailand in the native fiat currencies of the two countries. This blockchain platform obviated the need for the conversion of the Chinese yuan or Thai baht to the dollar at any point in the transactions.

“IBS has the technology and network to facilitate international settlements that is not based just on the U.S. dollar, at a time when the yuan’s international presence is increasing,” the chairman of Kasikornbank, Banthoon Lamsam, said at the time.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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