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Mastercard teams with Microsoft for more connected cities

Aim is to effectively tackle long-standing urban challenges such as traffic congestion or economic development

The collaboration will create a global exchange to help foster connected cities
The collaboration will create a global exchange to help foster connected cities

Mastercard has announced a new collaboration with Microsoft at the SmartCities New York event to create a “global exchange” with the aim of allowing cities to use economic insights in more integrated and efficient ways.


The two technology companies, which have weighed in on urban development and smart cities in recent times, plan to bring together their respective payment, data analytics and cloud technologies to benefit global cities and citizens.


In today’s dynamic and complex world, 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 new collaboration, the partners claim, will help city agencies better understand root causes of issues and more effectively tackle long-standing urban challenges 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 solutions through a united private sector.


“Today’s urban challenges are too complex and critical to be solved by government alone”, comments Miguel Gamiño, 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 currently 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.


“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 toward our goal of empowering cities to be more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive.”


Other areas where Mastercard plans to work with Microsoft to combine complementary assets include:

  • Where applicable, Mastercard technologies and solutions will be embedded in Microsoft’s CityNext programme, aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of smart communities around the world
  • Based on their learnings around demand management for transportation, the companies will investigate similar solutions for areas such as tourism, water and power, with the potential to deliver significant infrastructure savings to cities
  • Together with their partners, the companies aim to explore additional capabilities for cloud-based, automated transit fare-collection, making it possible for cities to offer open-loop ticketing.

SmartCitiesNY is taking place 8-10 May at Pier 36 New York City.


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