The People’s Bank of China and the National Administration of Financial Regulation, China’s financial regulatory body, on Monday greenlighted Mastercard Inc.’s joint venture, Mastercard NUCC Information Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd, to commence domestic bankcard clearing in China.
The approval process took about three years. In February 2020, China’s central bank approved the application from Mastercard NUCC to begin preparations to set up a domestic bankcard clearing institution in China. Since then, Mastercard NUCC has established standards, rules, and infrastructure in line with local regulatory requirements and obtained required certificates for a local switch business. Founded in 2019, Mastercard NUCC provides payment-processing solutions and payment products using its technology.
“We are pleased to have reached this milestone with our local partner, NUCC,” Mastercard chief executive, Michael Miebach, says in a statement. “Mastercard’s deeper participation in the Chinese market will benefit the country, its consumers, and its businesses, while simultaneously boosting our company’s mission of connecting and powering an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone and unlocks priceless possibilities for all.”
Mastercard has built a cross-border portfolio in China that includes tens of millions of bank cards and millions of acceptance points across the country. Earlier this year, the card network enabled inbound acceptance via Alipay and Tencent wallets to allow international cardholders to pay at tens of millions of QR payment points when traveling around China.
In other Mastercard news, the card company is partnering with Feedzai, a provider of fraud-detection applications, in an effort to boost cryptocurrency fraud protection for potentially hundreds of millions of consumers.
Mastercard will integrate its crypto-intelligence solution, called Ciphertrace Armada, into Feedzai’s RiskOps platform. Ciphertrace Armada allows banks, crypto exchanges, wallets, crypto ATMs and other virtual-asset service providers to assess the fraud risk in digital-asset transactions. Feedzai’s RiskOps platform analyzes data on transactions totaling more than $1.7 trillion annually.
The combination of Mastercard’s and Feedzai’s fraud- prevention technologies is aimed at enabling financial institutions to stop transactions involving high-risk, and potentially fraudulent, crypto exchanges in real time, while alerting consumers to the risk before any money leaves their account, the two companies say.
“Criminals use crypto as part of their scam strategies, with the scam proceeds often ending up being funneled to an unauthorized or otherwise risky crypto exchange,” Feedzai chief executive Nuno Sebastiãosays in a statement.“It also continues to remain a challenge for anti-money laundering professionals as criminals become ever more sophisticated and money laundering techniques advance. This global partnership will further empower banks to protect their customers against the risks associated with crypto.”