Mastercard and Microsoft join forces for ‘the future of digital commerce’

Mastercard’s partners will now have access to emerging technologies at Microsoft, drawing on Azure, AR, VR, IoT and more.

Mastercard and Microsoft have announced details of a new partnership focusing on the “future of digital commerce”. Using Microsoft’s Azure and AI tech, Mastercard Labs will accelerate its cloud-native research, the company said, furthering its aim of “de-risking and commercialising emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce”.

Executive vice-president and head of Mastercard Labs, Ken Moore, said that “deepening the longstanding relationship with Microsoft” will allow his team to research, develop and scale new technologies and business models.

“This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and fintech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem,” he said. “It will enable us to explore opportunities focused on new client segments, technologies and trends as we continue to drive financial inclusion and build the future of commerce.”

Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business executive vice-president, Judson Althoff, added that the collaboration will “help connect and power a digital economy for everyone, everywhere”.

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The collaboration will give Mastercard’s partners access to emerging technologies and innovations and “new commerce capabilities”. These will include devices facilitating new methods of digital payments, new Azure technologies, augmented and virtual reality and IoT.

Mastercard said this new deal is part of its aim to make fintech as inclusive as possible. The company’s Start Path programme, which works with scaling fintech and commerce start-ups, has already assisted more than 230 fintech companies across the globe.

Mastercard Community Pass

A focus of the collaboration will be supporting Mastercard’s Community Pass initiative, a platform that aims to help underserved communities by providing access to education, basic healthcare and other essential services, using a digital tool that gives individuals a ‘consistent digital identity’.

Going forward, Azure’s cloud environment will serve as the native infrastructure for the platform. The goal is to improve lives through better financial security and availability of critical services.

Azure’s scalability and flexibility, the companies said, will be integral to Mastercard “establishing secure connections and protecting data, co-innovating with partners and delivering access to financial services”.