MasterCard expands on Libra pullout with blockchain payment principles


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and FXC Intelligence and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors.… Read more
  • MasterCard pulled out of the Libra Association last week – but is now talking publicly about its requirements for blockchain partners
  • It said that consumer protection, level playing fields and regulatory compliance were all important aspects for potential partners to consider
  • “Having operated multiple secure, safe, scalable payment networks around the world for many years, Mastercard is committed to bringing that experience to emerging blockchain networks and digital currencies”, said MasterCard spokesperson

A big name in the global payments sphere, MasterCard has announced some principles for its work with distributed ledger technology.

The announcement came after it announced that it was going to be one of many firms which would be pulling out of the Libra Association as a result of concerns over regulation.

It has now released a series of guidelines it expects its future blockchain cross border payment provider partners to adhere to.

One of these is consumer protection.

MasterCard says that all partners will need to work to ensure that data remains secure.

In what may be interpreted as an indirect reference to the perceived failings of Libra, the firm also said that it would require regulatory compliance from its partners.

It said that any blockchain networks it has to work alongside would need to ensure they adhered to the relevant laws in that country, and that they would also have to work alongside anti-money laundering laws too.

The final guideline focused on ensuring that all participants were involved in a so-called level playing field.

This means that all participants ought to be involved in the blockchain process both as givers and as takers.

This applies to everyone from phone network operators to financial institutions.

In a statement, MasterCard outlined why it was making the move.

“Following our withdrawal from the Libra Association membership process last week, we’ve received a great deal of interest in understanding how we evaluate technologies, programs and partners that have the potential to evolve the payments industry and enhance the value we can deliver”, it said in a statement.

“We thought it useful to share.”

“Having operated multiple secure, safe, scalable payment networks around the world for many years, Mastercard is committed to bringing that experience to emerging blockchain networks and digital currencies”, it said.

Libra is a proposed cryptocurrency powered by Facebook which is aiming to become a major provider in the cross border payments and online money transfer worlds – especially when it comes to reaching those who currently live in populations which are largely unbanked.

However, Libra has been hit by a range of organisations pulling out of its association recently.

These include MasterCard but also other financial services firms such as Stripe and Visa.

The future of the cryptocurrency, which is pegged to real world currencies, is currently in doubt in the eyes of many.

International money transfer is getting more and more complex – especially when blockchain is concerned.

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