Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Mastercard and Microsoft partner to help cities

Steve Rogerson
May 31, 2018
At this month’s Smart Cities New York, credit-card giant Mastercard and Microsoft announced they were working to bring together their payment, data analytics and cloud technologies to create a global exchange, allowing cities to use economic insights in more integrated and efficient ways.
Mayors, policy makers and urban planners need quick and meaningful understanding of the economic health and vibrancy of their city. The insights derived from this collaboration should help city agencies better understand root causes of issues and more effectively tackle long-standing urban problems such as traffic congestion or economic development.
In addition, Microsoft intends to join City Possible, a global initiative pioneered by Mastercard to co-create and scale urban services through a united private sector.
“Today’s urban challenges are best solved through collaboration,” said Miguel Gamiño Jr, executive vice president for global cities at Mastercard. “From access to basic services such as transport and affordable housing to engaging arts and culture, locals and tourists expect that cities make good use of resources that already exist and harness emerging technologies. That’s why today we invite public and private sector leaders to join us in making tech truly work for people.”
The two companies are engaged through Chicago-based City Tech in a two-city pilot to model the impact of planned and unplanned events and inform data driven policy interventions. Typical use cases include major cultural events and infrastructure investments as well as adverse weather and traffic incidents.
Other areas where Mastercard will work with Microsoft include identifying opportunities for Mastercard technologies to be applied in Microsoft’s CityNext programme, aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of smart communities around the world.
“Microsoft CityNext is helping cities implement solutions that address their most pressing needs and harness the next generation of innovation by leveraging cloud computing, AI and other technologies,” said Trudy Norris-Grey, managing director, Microsoft CityNext. “Our collaboration with Mastercard is an important step towards our goal of empowering cities to be more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive.”
The companies are considering demand management for areas such as transportation, tourism and energy, with the potential to deliver significant infrastructure savings to cities. And, together with their partners, they are exploring additional ways for more cities to allow people to pay for transit fares with the payment devices they already carry.