Microsoft, Mastercard pledge to work together on digital identity

Mastercard to build identity services on Azure

Mastercard will build identity services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, as part of a new initiative.

Mastercard and Microsoft today announced what they described as a “strategic collaboration” focused on digital identity.

The two companies said that they would work on building a “secure, instant” service that allowed people to verify their identity with “the devices they use every day”.

The announcement was short on details, with the pair promising more information would be released “in the coming months”.

“Today’s digital identity landscape is patchy, inconsistent and what works in one country often won’t work in another,” said Mastercard’s president for cyber and intelligence solutions, Ajay Bhalla.

“We have an opportunity to establish a system that puts people first, giving them control of their identity data and where it is used,” Bhalla said in a statement. “Working with Microsoft brings us one step closer to making a globally interoperable digital identity service a reality, and we look forward to sharing more very soon.”

“Digital identity is a cornerstone of how people live, work and play every day,” said Joy Chik, corporate vice president, identity, at Microsoft.

“We believe people should be in control of their digital identity and data, and we’re thrilled to first work with Mastercard to bring new decentralized identity innovations to life.”

The companies said the digital identity initiative could address a range of issues including identity inclusion for the 1 billion people whose identity isn’t officially recognised, identity verification and fraud prevention.

Mastercard recently opened its new Global Tech Hub in the Sydney suburb of St Leonards. The company says the hub will host some 550 of its employees, as well as serve as a centre for collaboration with the company’s partners.

In October, global payments network SWIFT revealed it had partnered with Microsoft for a proof of concept project using Azure. The project involved a “cloud-based implementation of the SWIFT core engine”.

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