A new Mastercard and Microsoft digital ID collaboration hopes to improve the way people authenticate identity for both online and physical transactions. The goal is to decentralize the management of identities. Instead of hundreds of identity providers managing individual databases of users, a federated identity system would enable people to verify their digital identity with whomever and whenever they choose.
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
The planned service would allow individuals to “enter, control and share their identity data their way–on the devices they use every day,” explains the joint release on the project.
The Mastercard and Microsoft digital ID initiative will serve as the foundation for new Mastercard services powered by Microsoft Azure. The companies are bringing together their respective strengths – Microsoft’s identity technology and Mastercard’s expertise in digital transactions for complex ecosystems.
According to the release, a universally-recognized digital identity could change the way we interact with services including:
- Financial Services: Improve the application process for accounts and loans
- Commerce: Personalize and streamline shopping experiences online and in stores
- Government Services: Streamline tax filings, passport applications and benefits payments
- Digital Services: Ease and secure use of email, social media and rideshare platforms.
Mastercard and Microsoft digital ID goals
The partnership hopes to help solve a series of significant challenges:
- Inclusion: More than 1 billion people have no official ID, so digital identity could improve access to health, financial and social services.
- Verification: A reusable digital identity can help people interact with merchants, banks, and government agencies with greater integrity, lower cost and with less friction.
- Fraud Prevention: It can help reduce payments fraud and identity theft.
“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.”
The Mastercard and Microsoft digital ID release is extremely short on details of how the service will be delivered, technology used, and rollout plans. It only notes that additional details will be shared in the coming months.