Mastercard and Microsoft announced last week a strategic collaboration aimed at improving the way people use and manage their digital identity in order to stop using so many passwords for every online verification.
Today, online identity verification is still conditioned by the submission of physical or digital evidence, managed by a central entity, whether it is passport number, address, driving license number or other user authentication information. This conditioning is a burden for consumers, who have to hold hundreds of passwords for different identities and who are subject to complex processes through which they have to prove their identity and manage their data. Working together, Mastercard and Microsoft have set out to offer people a safe and immediate way to prove their digital identity whenever and wherever they wish.
The answer to these challenges is a service developed by Mastercard and Microsoft, which will allow consumers to enter, control and distribute identity data as they wish: through the devices they use every day.
“The landscape of digital identity today is uneven, and what works in a particular country does not work in another. We have the opportunity to develop a system that puts people in the first place by giving them control over their own identification data and where they are used. Collaboration with Microsoft brings us a step closer to making digital identity management service a reality globally interoperable,” said Ajay Bhalla,president, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions, Mastercard.
Access to a universally recognizable digital identity can provide new and improved experiences for users in interacting with different businesses, service providers, or with their own online community in several areas including:
- Financial Services: Improves and speeds up the process of identifying the person requesting a new bank account or loan.
- Trade: Allows a more personalized and more efficient shopping experience online and in stores, regardless of the payment method, payment device or service provider.
- Government services: simplifies interactions with agencies and government departments, including tax collection, passport solicitation, or social security contributions.
- Digital services: optimize and ensure simplified use of e-mail, social networks, movie / music streaming services and ridesharing platforms.
“Digital identity is the cornerstone of how people live, work and play every day. We believe that people should have control over identity and digital data and we are delighted with this first collaboration with Mastercard through which we will bring innovations to ensure digital identity decentralization,” said Joy Chik, corporate vice president, Identity, Microsoft.
This digital identity initiative could also help to solve other common challenges:
- Identity registration: More than one billion people, most women, children and refugees, are not formally recognized; a digital identity can improve their access to health, financial and social services.
- Identity verification: A single reusable digital identity can help people interact with merchants, banks, government agencies and countless digital service providers in a simpler, safer and less costly way.
- Fraud Prevention: A single digital identity can help reduce fraud and identity theft in various forms.
The initiative will be the foundation for new Mastercard services with Microsoft Azure support and will strengthen collaboration with leaders in banking communities, mobile network operators and government communities. Mastercard and Microsoft unite those forces that have transformed both companies into global leaders: Microsoft’s experience in identity technology and Mastercard’s experience in organizing secure digital interactions in a complex multiple ecosystem.