Daily Dash: 'Urgent Action' Needed On Money Laundering, Say International Bodies

May 14, 2024
Three key agencies in the fight against money laundering have issued a joint call for action to national regulators, while Hong Kong and Shenzhen have announced a pilot of a new cross-boundary data validation platform.

'Urgent Action' Needed On Money Laundering, Say International Bodies

Countries need to urgently step up their efforts to target the huge illicit profits generated by money laundering, the heads of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), INTERPOL and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a joint call for action on Monday (May 13).

“Global financial integrity is critical for financial stability, inclusion, and for peace and security,” said T. Raja Kumar, FATF president. “It can only be achieved through the robust and effective implementation of money laundering and terrorist financing standards."

The three agencies said that by focusing on the proceeds of crime and the illicit financial networks behind them, states can more effectively disrupt organised crime and enhance the effectiveness of crime prevention efforts.

They also highlighted recent enhancements to FATF’s international standards on anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF), and called for accelerated progress on policy reforms and capacity building ahead of the UN 2026 Crime Congress, which is to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

Hong Kong Pilots Cross-Boundary Data Validation Platform With Shenzhen

Authorities in Hong Kong and Shenzhen have announced the launch of a new pilot for a cross-boundary data validation platform.

The platform uses blockchain technology and data coding (i.e., hash values) for document verification without the need for cross-boundary transfers or storage of original documents.

It aims to provide a “credible means” for validating the authenticity of the documents presented by the data owners.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which has been working closely with mainland authorities on fintech innovation and cross-boundary data flows, welcomed the move.

Mastercard Joint Venture Begins Processing Domestic Transactions In China

Mastercard NetsUnion has begun processing domestic payments made in China using Mastercard cards issued by the country’s banks.

Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard, said the move is a "significant milestone" in the company's 40-year history in China.

In February 2020, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) granted principal approval for Mastercard NetsUnion to begin formal preparations for a domestic bank card clearing institution in China.

Since then, the joint venture has established standards, rules, structures and infrastructure in line with local regulatory requirements and obtained the required certificates for a local switch business.

In November 2023, Mastercard NetsUnion received formal approval from the PBOC and the National Administration of Financial Regulation (NAFR) to commence domestic bank card clearing activity.

New NAB Partnership Looks To Accelerate Pay By Bank Adoption In Australia

National Australia Bank (NAB) has partnered with global fintech Banked in an effort to increase merchant adoption of account-to-account payment solutions.

The partnership aims to boost the use of "pay by bank" technology using PayTo, an account-to-account addressing service from Australian Payments Plus (AP+).

“Pay by bank capability will enable merchants to send PayTo Agreements to their customers and initiate payments and refunds according to their PayTo agreements,” Banked said in a statement.

This addresses a range of scenarios for merchants such as online payments, scheduled recurring payments with fixed or variable amounts, and split payment amounts.

"The nascent A2A payments industry in Australia presents an incredible opportunity,” said Banked CEO Bread Goodall. “Local regulators have developed well-constructed mandates and the banking industry is primed for innovation, all of which sets the stage for rapid growth in real-time payments.”

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