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Mastercard taps Microsoft Azure to boost R&D in ecommerce, fintech

Mastercard taps Microsoft Azure to boost R&D in ecommerce, fintech

Azure to serve as native cloud infrastructure for Mastercard Labs’ R&D efforts

Mastercard and Microsoft have announced a partnership that will see the Azure cloud environment serve as the native infrastructure for Mastercard Labs’ research and development efforts.

With the collaboration, Mastercard Labs partners will gain access to Microsoft Azure technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and IoT to develop new products and services.

MasterCard Labs is the R&D arm of the payments giant, created to provide a platform to ideate, incubate and test new ideas in ecommerce and fintech.

“This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and fintech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem,” said Ken Moore, executive vice president and head of Mastercard Labs.

“It will enable us to explore opportunities focused on new client segments, technologies and trends as we continue to drive financial inclusion and build the future of commerce,” he added.

Mastercard says its Start Path program has assisted with the development of over 230 fintech companies worldwide. The collaboration with Microsoft will expand support for the fintech community by helping diversify and build new businesses, and create and scale new cloud-first digital products and services, it added.

The Azure cloud environment will also offer support to Mastercard Community Pass, a financial inclusion platform that pulls brings together different services and provides underserved communities with access to essential services, such as education, agriculture marketplaces and basic healthcare.

Mastercard is on a mission to diversify beyond traditional card payments and become an integrated financial company. Its recent acquisitions include the account-to-account business of Danish payment-technology company Nets as well as the purchase of Finicity, a deal meant to strengthen Mastercard’s open banking capabilities.

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