Microsoft partners Mastercard for digital identity solution

Written by Hannah McGrath

Microsoft and Mastercard are partnering for a new digital identity solution which offers internet users the option to dispense with multiple passwords and verify themselves instantly online.

The software giant announced it was joining forces with the payments provider to develop a decentralised identity product that will alleviate the burden on individuals when it comes to providing digital or physical proof of identity as part of the online verification process.

Announcing their strategic collaboration today, Mastercard and Microsoft said they would be working together to give people a secure, instant way to verify as well as enter, control and share their data “with whomever they want, whenever they want”.

The eventual product will help consumers create a single, reusable digital identity that can help people interact with e-commerce merchants, banks government agencies and other digital service providers with lower cost and less friction.

It is also envisaged that a single digital identity could help tackle payments fraud and identity theft.

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard said: “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.”

Specific uses for a digital identity solution could include improving the speed and accuracy of applications for banking and financial products such as bank accounts, loans or payment service accounts.

Data contained within a digital ID could also help ensure a more personalised and efficient shopping experience online and in stores, as well as simplify government interactions such as filing taxes, applying for passports and accessing social security payments.

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