Mastercard and Microsoft announced Monday (December 3) a strategic collaboration to improve how people manage and use their digital identity.
In a press release, Mastercard and Microsoft said that currently verifying an identity online is dependent on physical or digital proof which is managed by a central party. That dependence on a central party puts a big burden on individuals who have to remember hundreds of passwords for different identities. What's more, the companies argued, people are being subjected to more complexity in proving their identity and managing that data. To get around that, Mastercard and Microsoft have developed a secure, instant way to verify an individual's identity with whomever they want, whenever they want.
“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,” Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard said in the press release. “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.”
According to Mastercard and Microsoft, providing access to a universally-recognized digital identity could result in new and enhanced experiences for people as they interact with businesses, service providers and their community online. Some of those enhancements include improved speed in the application identification process when opening a new bank account or applying for a loan or opening a payment service account, more personalized shopping online and in stores and simplified interactions with government agencies and services such as filing taxes or applying for a passport.
“Digital identity is a cornerstone of how people live, work and play every day,” Joy Chik, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Identity Division, said in the same press release. “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.”