On Tuesday, Mastercard and Microsoft Corp. announced a collaboration to shape the future of digital commerce, drive startup innovation and enable financial inclusion. The collaboration will accelerate Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities, enabled by Azure and AI, to advance Mastercard Labs’ mission to de-risk and commercialize emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce. Through access to technical expertise and cutting-edge technologies, Mastercard’s partners will be further empowered to build and securely scale new solutions.
“We are thrilled to deepen our longstanding relationship with Microsoft by advancing the research, development and scaling of new technologies and business models,” said Ken Moore, executive vice president and head of Mastercard Labs. “This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and fintech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem. 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.”
“Mastercard’s commitment to innovation and financial inclusion has accelerated digital commerce for individuals and businesses around the world,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “We look forward to building on our strong relationship and accelerating co-innovation to help connect and power a digital economy for everyone, everywhere.”
Empowering fintech innovation, advancing digital commerce
Capitalizing on Mastercard’s global network and leveraging Azure’s global reach, the collaboration will enable Mastercard’s ecosystem of partners to explore the use of emerging innovations and new commerce capabilities such as devices that enable digital payments in new ways. Through access to Azure technologies, augmented and virtual reality and Internet of Things, fintech partners will be empowered to create new user experiences to advance how consumers, businesses and governments exchange value.
Mastercard’s Start Path program has assisted with the development of over 230 fintech companies worldwide, democratizing access to financial services. Building on that momentum, the collaboration will expand support for the fintech community by helping diversify and build new businesses, and create and scale new cloud-first digital products and services.
Enabling financial inclusion
Mastercard and Microsoft share a commitment to ensuring people in underserved communities have access to digital products and services to realize their full potential. The collaboration will advance Mastercard’s vision to improve the lives of people by building pathways to financial security and access to critical services. The Azure cloud environment will serve as the native infrastructure for Mastercard Labs’ inclusion efforts and support Mastercard Community Pass — a platform that pulls together complex ecosystems and provides underserved communities with access to essential services, such as education, agriculture marketplaces and basic healthcare.
Microsoft Azure provides Mastercard — and the ecosystems they jointly serve — with a scalable and flexible platform imperative for establishing secure connections and protecting data, co-innovating with partners and delivering access to financial services.