Microsoft is pressing the Reserve Bank of Australia to consider adjustments to the domestic payments markets to help consumers conduct transactions in virtual currencies, such as Facebook Credits and Microsoft Points.
It is important to recognize that such payments are going to happen with increasing regularity - and in many developing countries could become dominant when integrated with mobile phone apps.
So, rather than trying to ban them, now is the time for regulators to come up with a structured approach for controlling them, both in regard to fraud and money laundering.
To that end, working with new payment providers on central clearing, interoperability, real time fraud analysis and security is vital.
There are wonderful opportunities for encouraging trade - as long as the authorities are proactive in setting the ground rules. We see the intent as being there (from the World Bank, ITU, ISO, UN etc.) but the question is whether they can work fast enough
on implementing the structure.
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