Mastercard/Microsoft accelerate fintech digital innovation
In an announcement made by Mastercard the company has joined forces with Microsoft Corporation to shape the future of digital commerce, drive startup innovation and enable financial inclusion.
As part of the collaborative efforts, Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities will be accelerated with the help of Microsoft Azure and AI. The technology will advance Mastercard Lab’s mission to de-risk and commercialize emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce.
In addition, Mastercard’s improved access to technological expertise and cutting edge technologies, will provide its partners with the ability to build and securely scale new solutions.
“We are thrilled to deepen our longstanding relationship with Microsoft by advancing the research, development and scaling of new technologies and business models,” said Ken Moore, executive vice president and head of Mastercard Labs. “This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and fintech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem. 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.”
Also commenting on the announcement Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business added, “Mastercard’s commitment to innovation and financial inclusion has accelerated digital commerce for individuals and businesses around the world. We look forward to building on our strong relationship and accelerating co-innovation to help connect and power a digital economy for everyone, everywhere.”
Fintech innovation and advancing digital commerce
By harnessing the combination of Mastercard’s global network and Azure’s global reach, the two organisations will provide Mastercard’s partner ecosystem with the ability to explore emerging innovations and new commerce capabilities.
Via access to Azure technologies, augmented reality, virtual reality and the internet of things (IoT), Mastercard’s fintech partners will be empowered to create new user experiences to advance value exchange.
To date, Mastercard’s program has helped more than 230 fintech companies with their development and democratizing access to financial services. Its recent collaboration with Microsoft will build on its current efforts and expand its support for fintechs by diversifying and building new businesses, as well as create and scale new cloud-first digital products and services.
In addition to innovation and digital commerce, Mastercard and Microsoft are committed to empowering people in underserved communities by providing access to digital products and services. The collaboration between the two organisations will help Mastercard to advance its vision to improve the lives of people by building pathways to financial security as well as access to critical services.
In order to achieve this the Azure cloud environment will provide a native infrastructure for Mastercard Labs’ inclusion efforts and support its Community Pass platform which provides communities with access to essential services including: education, agriculture marketplaces and basic healthcare.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.