The collaboration promises to accelerate Mastercard Labs, the financial services company’s research and development arm that is dedicated to bringing payment solutions to market quicker. The service will be enabled by Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform designed to build, test, deploy and manage applications through its data centers.
“This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and FinTech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem,” said Ken Moore, a Mastercard executive vice president, in a statement.
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB), said that “we look forward to building on our strong relationship and accelerating co-innovation to help connect and power a digital economy for everyone, everywhere.”
By leveraging Mastercard’s global network and Azure’s global reach, the partnership aims to give partners the ability to tap into new innovations and commerce capabilities, including new means of digital payments via devices. By gaining access to Azure's emerging technologies, Microsoft said its FinTech partners will be able to “create new user experiences to advance how consumers, businesses and governments exchange value.”
Earlier this year, Michael Miebach, Mastercard’s chief product officer, told PYMNTS that there is no use in fighting the evolution of payments. The goal for Mastercard going forward, he said, is to determine how to expand its reach worldwide, into places where card products haven’t been before.
“There will be markets and use cases in which payment card technology may not necessarily be in the best position to optimize a particular payment flow or solve a particular customer need,” he said. “So Mastercard is focused on identifying and pursuing those segments where there are opportunities beyond the card.” Vocalink and its ACH capability, he noted, were a “starting point,” but from there the opportunities only opened further.