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Abu Dhabi’s international financial center has entered a collaboration with payments giant Mastercard to develop and accelerate FinTech solutions in the region.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial center established by a UAE Federal Decree to develop and strengthen financial services in Dubai as a global center for business and finance, is partnering Mastercard to develop FinTech activities in UAE’s capital and the wider MENA (The Middle East North Africa) region.
Announced today, the new partnership will see both organizations exchange expertise and knowledge while cooperating on FinTech projects as the ADGM aims to further enhance its reputation beyond an international financial center into a FinTech hub in the region.
Mastercard MESA president Khalid Elgibali said:
As a payments technology leader, we see a great deal of potential for FinTech companies in the wider region, and this the new collaboration will help us play our part in supporting companies that will shape the future of commerce in the coming years.
Mastercard, the world’s second-largest payments network after Visa, has processed some $5 trillion in transactions in 2016. The payments giant has notably invested in cryptocurrency entrepreneur Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group and has gone on to actively develop payment API solutions powered by blockchain technology.
In mid-2016, Mastercard International president Ann Cairns revealed the company had already built “use cases in our laboratories to see how to include it together with our core systems.”
The ADGM’s endeavor to explore payment solutions with Mastercard comes within days of the authority releasing guidelines on virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in UAE’s capital city. The ADGM, through its Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) – Dubai’s financial markets regulator – took a measured approach compared to the likes of China and Korea, countries where ICOs are effectively banned altogether. The FSRA will only regulate ICOs where tokens exhibit characteristics similar to that of securities.
Further, the regulator also deemed that cryptocurrencies would be seen akin to commodities like precious metals and fuels with no planned regulation currently for transactions or mining involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Featured image from Shutterstock.