Conferma CEO, Simon Barker, on what blockchain means for business travel, Buying Business Travel

As the founder of a virtual card technology company, Conferma’s Barker, unsurprisingly, disagrees that blockchain will replace the card-based payments infrastructure. He focuses on a paradox of blockchains, which is that they are totally transparent to participants within the process but impenetrable through encryption to those excluded from them.

“Payments are centrally controlled by governments to ensure there is no money laundering and people pay taxes,” Barker says. “They won’t want to let those controls go. Virtual card numbers, which are built on card rails, are a good long-term bet.

“The key to payments is global acceptance, which the card rails have spent the last 40 to 50 years establishing. Blockchain could be used to send ledgers bank-to-bank, but virtual cards won’t be replaced by cryptocurrencies.”

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