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MasterCard and Microsoft to launch a decentralised, universal digital ID

MasterCard and Microsoft have collaborated to make a globally inter-operable digital identity service. However, their press statement does not specify the nature of the digital identity – whether it would be biometric, numerical, QR Code or another kind.

“Additional details on this would be shared in the coming months,” reads the official statement. Yet, both the companies say that a universally-recognized digital identity could improve service experiences across –

  • Financial Services: Improve the speed of the identification process, to further opening of new bank accounts, loan and payment services.
  • Commerce: Efficient shopping, offline and online, independent of the payment type, device or service provider.
  • Government services: Simplified interaction with government regarding application for passport, enrolling for social security schemes and filing taxes.
  • Digital services: The new digital identity system would help streamline the use of mail, social media, OTT platform services and ride sharing platforms.

The companies also believe that the digital identity initiative could resolve some of the challenges of:

  • Identity inclusion: a digital identity can improve the access to health, financial and social services for more than 1 billion people who are not officially recognized.
  • Identity verification: A single, reusable digital identity can provide greater integrity, cost effectiveness and lesser friction in the interaction with merchant, bank and digital service providers.
  • Fraud Prevention: A single digital identity, the company believes, can also reduce payments fraud and identity theft.

Read our coverage of MasterCard here and Microsoft here.

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