Apr 27, 2020 in Member Spotlights by DIACC

Spotlight on Mastercard

1. What is the mission and vision of Mastercard?

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. We recently committed to the Mastercard Data Responsibility Imperative, as we believe that innovation is critical to business success and goes hand in hand with the ethical use of data. 

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

Identity is what makes our existence in the world official: it is how countries recognize and see us, and it establishes citizens’ rights to national benefits. It is also the foundation for participating in the economy, and more importantly, to help grow the economy.

That economy is rapidly becoming digitized and globalized. Many of us live in a hyper-connected world, where digital services blend invisibly into our daily lives. It has changed the way we shop, do business, engage politically, obtain health services and communicate.

In all of this, trust is essential – organizations offering digital services and the people they are interacting with need to be confident of their interactions within this environment. A user-centric digital identity built on the premise of privacy- and security-by-design can help establish that confidence and trust as parties can validate who is on the other end of the transaction.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Mastercard address challenges associated with this transformation?

As the economy becomes increasingly digitized and globalized, identity will become our personal keys to every website, app and service. But the systems we have in place to establish, use and secure these crucial keys are fundamentally flawed.

An average user may be faced with 150 login accounts, all with disparate approaches to passwords and authentication. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, identity fraud is increasing, and that risk will multiply with the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s estimated that 75 billion smart devices will be in use across the globe by 2025. That’s why Mastercard unveiled its new Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver earlier this year. It will help us meet the growing demand for technology solutions to reduce the cost of cyber-attacks, enable today’s connected devices to become tomorrow’s secure payment devices, and address the growing vulnerabilities associated with IoT.

Last year, Mastercard introduced a consumer-centric model for digital identity. Guiding this model are the Principles of Digital Identity, which focuses on data rights and ownership, confidentiality, consent, transparency, security and inclusion. They amount to a fundamental individual right: “I own my identity and I control my identity data.”

4. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

Canada needs to fundamentally address how people manage their identity in a digital world, how that identity is verified, and how digital service providers that rely on that identity data can be best served. We need to build a digital identity system that answers the challenge without releasing the data, ensuring that the path forward is infinitely smarter and stronger than what we have now. Mastercard believes in local solutions and initiatives, such as the Department of Innovation, Science and Industry’s Digital Charter, as well as DIACC and its Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, that encourage domestic scale and global interoperability. At Mastercard, we believe scale is key to inclusion. 

5. Why did Mastercard join the DIACC?

Digital identity requires a collective effort, and Mastercard is committed to facilitating the network and helping define the rules and governance. Together, we have a real opportunity to transform digital engagement so that it’s convenient and doesn’t compromise on security.

We envision a digital identity service that is:

  • Simple: Enabling a user and a third party to interact easily, confidently, and with trust.
  • Smart: Allow digital interactions to occur with only minimal data exchanged.
  • Secure: Safeguarding data and the use of data effectively such that the rightful owners are in control. 

6. What else should we know about Mastercard?

Mastercard’s model for digital identity embodies privacy-by-design and does not aggregate identity data. It will enable digital interactions to occur with minimal data exchanged and only when needed. It will safeguard data and the use of data effectively such that the users are in control, with a person’s identity securely bound to their smartphone. Ultimately, the Mastercard model for digital identity enshrines the Mastercard Data Responsibility Imperative’s core principles aimed at ensuring innovation takes place in a responsible and secure way, driving relevant benefits for individuals and society.