Project Mandala 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, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the Bank of Korea (BOK), the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (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.