In Interview, Mastercard CEO Explains Reasons for Leaving Libra Project






In an interview with the Financial Times published today, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga cited concerns about compliance as one of the main reasons his company left Facebook’s Libra Project last October. At the same time, Banga criticized the development of national payment systems, expressing support for a common global system instead.

According to Banga, members of the Libra Association refused to make a real commitment to avoid actions that might run afoul of legal compliance expectations. He specifically cited concerns about the association’s commitment to compliance in the area of know-your-client, anti-money laundering, and data management requirements.

Banga also questioned how Libra planned to make money. He noted that the association has been unclear on that issues, and said, “when you don’t understand how money gets made, it gets made in ways you don’t like.”

The Mastercard CEO also seemed to criticize the current interest in central bank digital currencies, and openly criticized what he called “siloed” national payment systems. He called the notion that countries can create nationalized payment networks under their control “a fantasy that’s been going on for a long time.”

Though Mastercard was initially a founding member of the Libra Association, the company left the project in October. PayPal, Stripe, and Visa also left that month.

Author: Ken Chase

Freelance writer whose interests include topics ranging from technology and finance to politics, fitness, and all things canine. Aspiring polymath, semi-professional skeptic, and passionate advocate for the judicious use of the Oxford comma.

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