Mastercard Extends Helps to Central Banks, Unveils Platform to Test National Digital Currencies

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Mastercard Extends Helps to Central Banks, Unveils Platform to Test National Digital Currencies
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Mastercard’s CBDC testing platform helps global central banks to simulate different use-cases and test roll-out strategies between commercial banks and other payment services providers.

There’s a growing interest among global central banks to launch national digital currencies or CBDCs as we know them. Giving it a further push, payments giant Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) unveiled a new platform for central banks to test Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

As announced officially on Wednesday, September 9, Mastercard’s virtual and customer testing platform will help central banks simulate different use-cases for CBDCs. Furthermore, the test platform also helps create simulation with roll-out strategies and exchange of CBDCs among banks and other financial service providers.

Global financial institutions have been openly speaking about the need for CBDCs. Besides, the need for CBDCs is realized more today than ever before. CBDCs makes it easier for central banks to distribute and track stimulus packages during times of economic crisis.

As per the report from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), over 70% of the global central banks are testing CBDCs in or the other way. The report says that many banks have already moved ahead from the conceptual stage to concept and design. Mastercard’s new testing platform will serve as the right catalyst for CBDC projects. Raj Dhamodharan, Executive Vice President, Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships, Mastercard, said:

“Central banks have accelerated their exploration of digital currencies with a variety of objectives, from fostering financial inclusion to modernizing the payments ecosystem. Mastercard is driving innovation with the public sector, banks, fintechs, and advisory firms in the exploration of CBDCs. This new platform supports central banks as they make decisions now and in the future about the path forward for local and regional economies.”

Mastercard Invites Partners to Join the Platform for Central Bank Digital Currencies

Apart from just central banks, Mastercard has also invited tech and financial advisory firms to assess and evaluate CBDC designs. Involving players from the tech and financial space, Mastercard wants to make sure that its platform can validate use-cases. Furthermore, it wants to ensure that the platform is interoperable with existing payment infrastructure used by consumers and businesses today.

Mastercard has also put emphasis on scalable innovation on the platform which can cater to millions of users worldwide. The platform ensures the primary approach of money distribution i.e. Central Banks issuing and distributing digital currencies via commercial banks and other licensed payment providers.

Mastercard understands the different underlying needs of economies while issuing CBDCs. Thus, the platform gives the central banks the necessary flexibility and see if the CBDC design fits the needs of their country. Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain, Digital Assets and Data Policy at the World Economic Forum, said:

“Collaborations between the public and private sectors in the exploration of Central Bank Digital Currencies can help central banks better understand the range of technology possibilities and capabilities available with respect to CBDCs. Central banks can benefit from support in exploring the option set available to them with respect to CBDCs, as well as gaining insight into what opportunities may be forthcoming.”

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