Artificial Intelligence

Inside Mastercard’s ‘priceless’ future: Role partnering with governments and creating technological infrastructure

Blog note. Revelation 13:17… And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. I have written extensively about how technology will play into the hands of the “beast” (antichrist) during the Tribulation. Biometric Scanning is the enabling technology that will validate and identify who an individual is, and the “mark, name, number” of the beast is the symbol or identification that this person is a “world citizen” of the beast’s system of control. ALL the major countries on the earth today will be implementing a biometric identification system in 2020. Previous blog articles I have provided, attest to this fact. The “cashless/digital” payment systems are developing right alongside biometric verifications systems. It is no coincidence that biometric scanning focuses on the eyes and fingerprints. The “mark, name or number” of the antichrist will be placed on the hand and on the forehead so biometric scanners can 100% positively identify the world citizen. The strongest warning in all of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is for men to NOT take the mark, number or name of the beast. End of note.

Inside Mastercard’s ‘priceless’ future with Raghu Malhotra

Mastercard Middle East and Africa President shares his views on the changing face of the global financial services giant, its key partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and how new technologies are making the world a more efficient and transparent place to live and work

Fri 05 Oct 2018 12:45 AM. Arabian Business.

(Article Excerpts)…

At the event in Barcelona, under the theme ‘Creating the Road Map for the Future’, Mastercard showed a number of use-cases for its new technologies, which ranged from lending platforms that digitise supply chain management to new ways of using biometrics to ensure the security of online and in-store purchases.

For those of us who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, such uses of technology may seem far-fetched, or far-off. But Mastercard has already begun implementing a mind-boggling array of tech to “enable” people. As an example, Malhotra points to the company’s work in parts of Africa and India, where Mastercard has implemented an “agri-app” that creates a digital marketplace for those involved in agriculture. This brings together small farmers, agents, buyers and financial service providers to do business with one another with complete transparency.

“Governments are starting to say that they have to make sure more and more people are financially included.  Think of how people are able to transact in this way. And also consider that large swathes of many economies depend on the development of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises),” he remarks. “In the past, you’d give subsidies to help that process, but going forward, there is a clear realisation that you can only help that sector and take the economy to the next level if you drive a more efficient transaction time. If you digitise the supply chain it lowers the cost.”

Among the partners that have turned to Mastercard recently is Expo 2020 Dubai, which has named the company as the “official payments technology” partner of the upcoming event. That means Mastercard will be deploying technologies including augmented and virtual reality, face and fingerprint recognition and wearable and contactless payment solutions, and even voice shopping to create a “seamless” visitor experience.

The end result, according to Girish Nanda, Mastercard’s general manager for the UAE and Oman, is a cashless experience which is simple and safe, allowing the visitor to focus on and enjoy the offerings of Expo.m“Our own research shows that users are looking for new ways to pay. They’re optimistic about digital options. They want the flexibility to pay with any device,” he adds. “But equally important is the safety and security of personal information.

Malhotra says the second part of what Mastercard does in each of the region’s economies is to pay attention to any progressive government visions or positive policy-making changes to see what infrastructure it can adapt in these countries that might help the process. “The economics are different in each country, so we just change the value chain a little bit in how we operate in the markets, but the principles remain the same.”

Malhotra is far more optimistic when talking about artificial intelligence (AI), which Mastercard is already using for a number of tasks, including automated fraud detection and KYC (Know Your Customer) applications. As an example, he points to Brighterion, a California-based AI company that Mastercard acquired in 2017.

“It uses AI to help to do AML [anti-money laundering] better and drive efficiency…we like to use AI in that sort of environment. And we’ve been very clear – we never store customer data and we are super clear on how our privacy works. Because we’re a B2B2C model, it makes us very defined on how we operate and what we use AI for,” he says. “We’ll keep using data at an aggregated level, so even if you apply more AI features, it’s done with that principle in mind. Nobody will ever know what an individual does or who they are – people become data sets of a thousand, and a certain segment operates in a certain way. It’s a different way of applying it.”

When it comes to Mastercard, Malhotra is weary of saying anything too forward looking – keenly aware that the future can change quickly – though he’s clearly optimistic about the direction the company is taking, especially in the Middle East and Africa region he oversees.

“What we do see, on a broader scale, is this whole secular shift moving away from cash to much more efficient electronic forms. And I certainly see us playing a very large part in that transition. I also see us playing a huge role in ensuring that the right safety and security layers are in place when you create this digital infrastructure,” he says. “We’ll also play an increasing role partnering with governments and creating infrastructure that allows for efficiencies, whether it’s for the SME side, supply chain digitisation or financial inclusion… I see us playing a much bigger role in the Middle East and Africa.

Mastercard and Expo

The recently announced partnership between Mastercard and Expo 2020 Dubai will see the company deploy its latest payment technology, including augmented and virtual reality, biometrics, facial and fingerprint recognition as well as contactless and wearable technologies.

“World expos have always offered people their first experience of technologies that will go on to change their everyday lives,” says Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. “In the future, people will grow to expect seamless experiences whenever they make a payment. Our partnership with Mastercard will not only make cashless payments easier for our visitors, but also allow them to try new and exciting innovations that enhance and become part of their Expo experience.”

Mastercard in Saudi Arabia

Earlier this year Mastercard announced a partnership with mada, the kingdom’s domestic payment network, to enable online payments using Mastercard technology. The partnership with mada allows more than 28 million mada cardholders to transact online, and in August was expanded to allow contactless payments at hundreds of thousands of NFC-enabled terminals on the kingdom. Utilising Mastercard to facilitate online payments via the network will enable Saudi businesses to increase their e-commerce sales, said Ziad Al Yousef,  director at Saudi monetary agency.

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