Mastercard partners with Bahrain's BENEFIT in blockchain sector

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • New development marks Mastercard’s first blockchain-related national implementation in Middle East
  • Faster transaction speeds expected as part of the development
  • “As a technology company, Mastercard is proud to introduce the latest payment technologies to the region, which are helping to build the infrastructure for a smart economy”, says Mastercard spokesperson

Worldwide banking corporation Mastercard has announced that it will partner with a leading Middle Eastern blockchain ATM and point of sale organisation.

The firm will pair up with BENEFIT, which is the Electronic Network for Financial Transactions located in Bahrain.

In a development which follows the pattern of many other organisations in the cross-border payments sector, the new collaboration will have a blockchain element to it too. The arrangement is the first time Mastercard has developed a blockchain payments system in this market.

As part of the pilot phase, banks who use the service will be able to take advantage of a private network. This network is safe and secure in nature when making online money transfers – and which does not require an intermediary, as is sometimes the case currently.

Mastercard is one of the largest names in the payments sector, and it regularly collaborates with smaller organisations to deliver improved payment services.

In this case, the service will also herald an increase in transaction speeds thanks to the nature of blockchain transactions and the expertise of Mastercard’s team.

For the banks, the vast swathes of data generated by customer transactions will be made available to banks in an anonymised way for increased data analysis.

In a statement to the press, Mastercard’s Khalid Elgibali, Division President for the Middle East and North Africa, said that as well as this development, the firm would also “explore further use cases of blockchain” in the future.

“Blockchain has the potential to transform the way payments are made. As a technology company, Mastercard is proud to introduce the latest payment technologies to the region, which are helping to build the infrastructure for a smart economy”, he said.

“Mastercard will continue to work with BENEFIT and our other partners in the region to explore further use cases of blockchain, which can help drive greater efficiencies, increase transparency and support the development of digital economies”, he added.

For BENEFIT, CEO Abdulwahid Al-Janahi said that assistance from various other institutions such as the Central Bank of Bahrain was also helping the project development process along.

“The project fits with the national agenda of implementing innovative products based on new technology such as blockchain”, he said.

“We also thank Mastercard and value the support we have from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Economic Development Board (EDB)”, he added.

Mastercard is regularly in the news thanks to its involvement in the dynamic and ever-changing payments sector. Why not learn more about what Mastercard and other firms are doing by becoming a regular reader of our news section?


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