- Mastercard and Microsoft announced at this week's Smart Cities New York conference that they will collaborate on various smart city initiatives, including on transportation fare collection and tackling issues such as traffic congestion.
- Microsoft will also join Mastercard’s City Possible program, a global initiative where urban solutions are created by private companies in collaboration.
- Mastercard also announced former New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. as its new Executive VP of Global Cities. In a speech, he said he is looking forward to "making technology work for people in every corner of the planet."
This new partnership represents the joining together of an international software giant and an international leader in financial services. In speeches at conference, officials from both companies emphasized the need for the private sector to cooperate and pool expertise to solve long-standing urban solutions. "In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s rare that one company is able to do things all by themselves," Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive VP for U.S. Market Development at Mastercard, said in a speech.
The two companies will have plenty of chances to share their technologies, especially as Mastercard plans on exploring and rolling out automated and contactless fare collection, a feature that has made tentative steps forward in some cities through the likes of Google Pay and Apple Pay. Gamiño said the two companies and their partners will be exploring technology to make residents’ lives easier, as "it’s really about the possibilities for people in cities."
And the new partners have big ambitions, matching their worldwide status. In a press release beforehand announcing the joint venture, they are also pledging to use their data analysis and cloud computing capabilities, all to roll this partnership out internationally to every city. Trudy Norris-Grey, managing director of Microsoft’s CityNext program, said this partnership will help do just that. "We have a really far reach, but we think we can do better by collaborating with Mastercard," she said in a speech.