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Mastercard (MA) Renders Digital Identification to Optus

Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read

Mastercard Inc. MA has entered into an agreement to provide its digital identity to Optus, the second largest provider of telecommunications services in Australia.

The company’s digital identity service will allow Optus to strengthen its identity verification and authentication process while retaining its best-in-class, digital-first customer experience.

This digital identity solution was developed by joining forces with Microsoft in December 2018. The digital identity is aimed at addressing inefficiencies in the identification verification system, which exist today. Identity verification today is fraught with fraud and identity theft, lacking in control over one’s personal identity data in absence of a simple, safe and reliable method of authenticating identities digitally to protect true and trustworthy identity credentials etc.

The service intends to allow individuals to enter, control and share their identity information on the devices they use every day. With Microsoft, Mastercard was able to make this service available across the globe.

Mastercard’s model embodies privacy-by-design and does not aggregate identity data.  It will facilitate digital interactions with minimal data exchanges only when necessary. It will safeguard data and the use of data effectively so that the users are in complete command over their person’s identity, which is securely stored in their smartphones.

These inadequacies breed a promising business opportunity that Mastercard could perceive at a time when digital transformation is gaining momentum with each passing day. Per World Bank estimates, 1.1 billion people are without any formal identification.

According to the World Economic forum, with the usage of digital technologies across the world touching an all-time high and the adoption of the Iot expected to connect more than 200 billion devices to the internet by 2020, the scope of identity management is also fast expanding.

Mastercard had already sensed this urgency and only last December 2019, the company conducted the first digital identity service test in Australia with Australia Post and Deakin University. The most recent deal with Optus is reflective of the success of these first two rollouts.

Another company in the same space Visa Inc. V is also working on digital identity solution and launched an AI tool called Advanced Identity Score to reduce the digital identity deception.

Mastercard always remains a front runner when it comes to deploying cost-efficient technologies and solutions in providing the best services to its customers.

In the past six months, shares of this currently Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have rallied 16% compared with the industry's growth of 10.3%.

Other companies in the same space, namely Discover Financial Services DFS and American Express Co. AXP have also surged 93% and 35.4%, respectively, over the same time frame.

Mastercard caries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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