Mastercard launches blockchain payments in Middle East
Mastercard teams up with BENEFIT for blockchain payment program
Bahrain’s Electronic Network for Financial Transactions (BENEFIT), and Mastercard have joined forces to launch a pilot blockchain program that will enable banks to deliver fast, secure and private cross-border commercial payments.
The partnership is a milestone for banking and a major step for a region looking to secure its position as a business-friendly destination for blockchain-invested companies and will secure the implementation of blockchain banking on a national level in the Middle East.
The pilot program will enable banks to send and receive money on a secure, private and direct network using Mastercard’s cross-border B2B service. The technology solves for several challenges of today’s B2B payments such as speed and transparency.
Businesses will be able to make faster payments to their beneficiaries as the technology enables banks to directly exchange required payment information upfront, without the need for intermediaries, using the secure private blockchain network, thereby ensuring payment certainty. Banks will also have access to B2B payment trends, giving them insights into customers’ buying behavior without compromising on the privacy of their financial data.
Commenting on the partnership, Khalid Elgibali, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, Mastercard said: “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. 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.”
“We are very pleased to sign this agreement, which will be a qualitative leap for international remittance systems and will strengthen Bahrain’s name as a leading international hub in Fintech. The project fits with the national agenda of implementing innovative products based on new technology such as Blockchain. We also thank Mastercard and value the support we have from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Economic Development Board (EDB),” said Mr. Abdulwahed Al-Janahi, CEO at BENEFIT.
Mastercard is a leading innovator of blockchain technology, having built a permissioned blockchain network that is integrated with its global network, providing a secure tamper proof ledger, high transaction throughput, enhanced security, transaction privacy, and support for multiple use cases with one deployment. With over 100 blockchain patents filed, Mastercard is among the world’s blockchain innovators.
Mastercard issues joint crypto credit card with Nexo
Mastercard has also announced plans to launch a credit card with crypto loans firm Nexo.
Nexo claims the Nexo Card will be the first card in the world that enables users to spend the value of their cryptocurrency without in fact spending it. In addition, the card does not consider annual and monthly and foreign exchange fees.
“When using the Nexo Card to purchase goods and services, you actually pay using your Nexo flexible open-ended revolving credit line that is backed with your crypto holdings and thus not selling any of them, which is giving you the freedom to spend today and sell your holdings whenever you want in the future to pay back the loan,” said Nexo.