Mastercard has launched a “virtual and custom" testing platform that will allow central banks to evaluate digital currency systems.
According to an announcement published on Wednesday, the platform will facilitate an environment where banks, financial service providers, and consumers can partner to simulate the issuance, distribution, and exchange of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and evaluate customized CBDC use cases.
“Central banks have accelerated their exploration of digital currencies with a variety of objectives, from fostering financial inclusion to modernizing the payments ecosystem," said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's executive vice president for digital assets and blockchain products and partnerships said in a statement. "This new platform supports central banks as they make decisions now and in the future about the path forward for local and regional economies.”
According to the company, the testing platform can be used to demonstrate how CBDCs might "interface with existing payment networks and infrastructures" and how consumers might use a digital currency to purchase goods from merchants around the world that accept Mastercard.
In July, Mastercard announced an "expansion" of its cryptocurrency program aimed at helping bring secure and regulatory compliant crypto payment cards to market.