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Mastercard (MA) Enhances Digital Identity Service in Australia

Zacks Equity Research
·4-min read

Mastercard Inc. MA has expanded the testing process of its digital identity service, ID, at Australia Post and Deakin University.

ID offers businesses, governments and educational institutions an end-to-end solution for creating, validating and using a digital identity.

Via ID, new ways are being created to confirm an individual’s identity without having to hand over any physical documents when filling in an application form, accessing benefits, booking accommodations and more.

This latest pilot test builds on the earlier evaluations performed at Deakin University. It is now being explored as to how Mastercard’s ID can securely connect and integrate with services from other providers like Australia Post’s Digital iD. The pilot test involved students to create a digital identity on Australia Post’s Digital iD app and use it to gain access to Deakin University’s exam portal.

Mastercard’s digital identity service is gaining a huge momentum, courtesy of rising demand for myriad challenges related to premium online education. Therefore implementation of new solutions is a requisite for the global higher education sector.

Earlier in November, Mastercard entered into an agreement to provide its digital identity to Optus, the second largest provider of telecommunications services in Australia. It also partnered with The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to design a new national digital identity service to help advance the country’s digital economy aspirations.

Mastercard’s digital identity solution was developed by joining forces with Microsoft in December 2018. The digital identity is aimed at addressing inefficiencies in the identification verification system, which exist today. Identity verification nowadays is fraught with fraud and identity theft, lacking in control over one’s personal identity data in absence of a simple, safe and reliable method of authenticating identities digitally to protect true and trustworthy credentials, etc.

The service intends to allow individuals to enter, regulate and share their identity information on the devices they use every day. With Microsoft, Mastercard was able to make this service globally accessible.

Mastercard’s digital identity service embodies a privacy-by-design model and does not aggregate identity data.  It will facilitate digital interactions with minimal data exchanges only when necessary. It will safeguard data and its usage effectively so that the users are in complete command over their personal identity, which is securely collected in their smartphones.

With shortfalls abounding, Mastercard could fathom ample business potential if it can redress the demerits of a faulty system. This sounds more promising at a time when digital transformation is gathering steam with each passing day. Per World Bank estimates, 1.1 billion people have zero formal identification.

According to the World Economic forum, with the uptake of digital technologies across the world touching an all-time high and the adoption of Iot expected to connect more than 200 billion devices to the internet by 2020, the capacity of identity management is also expanding by leaps and bounds.

Mastercard had already sensed this urgency and only last December 2019, the company conducted its first digital identity service test in Australia with Australia Post and Deakin University. Its latest deal with Optus echoes the success of these first two rollouts.

Another company in the same space Visa Inc. V is also working on digital identity solution and launched an AI tool called Advanced Identity Score to check the digital identity scam.

Mastercard is always in the forefront of deploying cost-efficient technologies and solutions to offer its customers best services.

In the past six months, shares of this currently Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have rallied 14.9% compared with the industry's growth of 9.1%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other companies in the same space, namely Discover Financial Services DFS and American Express Co. AXP have also surged 93% and 35.4%, respectively, over the same time frame.


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