2 min read

Mastercard has partnered with Microsoft to help people better manage and use their digital identity. Current identity management systems are complex in proving user identity and managing their data. Following this, Mastercard and Microsoft are provided a way for people to instantly verify their digital identity with whomever they want, whenever they want using a universally-recognized, single digital identity system.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also tweeted about this collaboration.

Today’s digital identity landscape is patchy, inconsistent and what works in one country often won’t work in another. We have an opportunity to establish a system that puts people first, giving them control of their identity data and where it is used,” says Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions, Mastercard. “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.

This single digital identity initiative will be powered by Microsoft Azure and built in collaboration with leaders in the banking, mobile network operator and government communities. It will be used to solve three major challenges:

  • Identity Inclusion: Improving digital identity for women, children, refugees, and other underrepresented groups to improve their access to health, financial and social services.
  • Identity Verification: To help people interact with a merchant, bank, government agency and countless other digital service providers with greater integrity, lower cost and with less friction.
  • Fraud Prevention: To help reduce payments fraud and identity theft of various forms.

It will also streamline and improve the speed of commerce and government, financial,  and digital services.

However, a universal identification like this may raise security, and privacy concerns, not to mention the data can be used for surveillance. Microsoft and MasterCard will need to adopt strict measures to protect their user data.

Public opinion on this system has also been largely negative.

Mastercard made their decisions clear to a Fast Company editor.
The service will allow the data to sit with its rightful owner–the individual–and wouldn’t involve amassing personal data in honeypots vulnerable to attack. In no situation would Mastercard collect users’ identity data, share it or monitor their interactions. Instead, the data would reside with the trusted party, and our service would merely validate the information already provided, once an individual has decided to do so. This is about giving the individual control over who sees their information and how it’s used.

Go through the press release on Mastercard Newsroom for more information.

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