Mastercard Open To Dealing In Central Bank-issued Cryptocurrencies

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Mastercard is open to the idea of using national digital currencies issued by central banks, according to a Financial Times report, which quoted a senior executive at Mastercard.

Mastercard is of the view that cryptocurrencies created by central banks would have the same security and ease of use as decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but with less volatility.

Mastercard is currently said to be running a pilot program in Japan and Singapore, with strict controls, such as anti-money laundering and KYC, in place.

In early February, two of the largest payment processors, Mastercard and VISA, had started charging additional fees for instant purchase of cryptocurrencies using debit or credit cards. A credit card user will be charged a 5 percent fee in addition to the standard 4 percent transaction fee already being levied on clients by cryptocurrency platforms such as Coinbase.

Card companies are worried that their clients may end up in huge debts by buying cryptocurrencies, prices of which are highly volatile, and find it difficult to repay.

Mastercard features among the top ten companies that have the most number of cryptocurrency patents in the world. Mastercard's R&D division, MasterCard Labs, had reportedly filed for more than 30 patents related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

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