Joint Media Release BIS and Central Bank Partners to Explore Protocols for Embedding Policy and Regulatory Compliance in Cross-border Transactions

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  • Project Mandala looks to automate compliance procedures, provide real-time transaction monitoring and increase transparency and visibility around country-specific policies.
  • The project explores the feasibility of encoding policy and regulatory requirements into a common protocol.
  • It is a joint collaboration between BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH) Singapore Centre, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Bank of Korea (BOK), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), with financial institutions.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and central bank partners today launched Project Mandala, which explores the feasibility of encoding jurisdiction-specific policy and regulatory requirements into a common protocol for cross-border use cases such as foreign direct investment, borrowing and payments.

Disparate policy and regulatory frameworks between different jurisdictions are among the chief obstacles to smooth and efficient cross-border payments. They contribute to the regulatory compliance burden across the payment chain, increase the time for cross-border transactions and introduce uncertainties among stakeholders.

Project Mandala – a proof-of-concept run by BISIH Singapore Centre, RBA, BOK, BNM and MAS, with the collaboration of financial institutions – seeks to ease the policy and regulatory compliance burden by automating compliance procedures, providing real-time transaction monitoring and increasing transparency and visibility around country-specific policies.

In doing so, it aims to address key challenges identified during Project Dunbar, which developed an experimental multiple central bank digital currency (mCBDC) platform.

The envisioned compliance-by-design architecture could enable a more efficient cross-border transfer of any digital assets including CBDCs and tokenised deposits. It could also serve as the foundational compliance layer for legacy and nascent wholesale or retail payment systems.

The measures could include quantifiable and configurable foreign exchange rules, as well as anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures.

Project Mandala aligns with the Financial Stability Board 2023 priority actions for achieving the G20 targets for enhancing cross-border payments in the area of promoting an efficient legal, regulatory and supervisory environment for cross-border payments while maintaining their safety, security and integrity.

‘We are pleased to collaborate with the BIS Innovation Hub and central bank partners on this important initiative. It will help us to understand how embedding policy and regulatory measures in a common protocol could be used to improve the speed, cost and transparency of cross-border transactions. Enhancing cross-border payments is a priority for Australia and the wider international community, and the Bank is committed to doing what it can to contribute to this effort,’ said Brad Jones, Assistant Governor (Financial System), Reserve Bank of Australia.


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