Mastercard's research and development arm is teaming up with Microsoft to harness the power of the cloud to drive digital commerce, startup innovation and financial inclusion.
The collaboration will accelerate Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities, enabled by Azure and AI, to advance its mission to de-risk and commercialise emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce.
Specifically, the pair say that their deal with 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," says a statement.
The Azure cloud environment will also serve as the native infrastructure for Mastercard Labs' financial inclusion efforts, supporting the payment firm's 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.
Ken Moore, head, Mastercard Labs, says: “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.”