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Mastercard is Navigating Global Trust Frameworks and Building a Global Digital Identity Network

The Financial Revolutionist | Apr 19, 2023

Digital ID - Mastercard is Navigating Global Trust Frameworks and Building a Global Digital Identity Network

Mastercard is working to establish a digital-identity network that leverages its international reach and focus on compliance to meet a comprehensive suite of commercial and regulatory use cases.

  • In an interview with The Financial Revolutionist, Sarah Clark, Senior Vice President of Digital Identity at Mastercard, explains the end goal of Mastercard’s digital-identity project, describes the privacy and security guidelines Mastercard is following, and justifies a private actor fulfilling this function—rather than a public entity.
    • Vision: Mastercard's digital identity project aims to leverage their experience in managing a global payment network to create a network that powers the future of digital identity, where individuals own their own digital identity and share their identity credentials with transparency and consent.

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  • The momentum for digital identity is coming from various high-frequency use cases beyond banking, such as age verification and data privacy, with growing legislation around the world.
    • Individual demand:  government investment in digital identity like digital driver's licenses are a form of reusable ID that can be leveraged for age verification, KYC, participating in car sharing, home sharing, and other use cases. Those are some examples of the way government investment as well as regulation and common-sense use cases are beginning to happen, and these are going to being to happen at scale, we need the user experience to be as easy as possible and to be as secure as possible.
  • Mastercard is working with regulatory stakeholders in pilot geographies such as Australia and the UK, complying with trust frameworks and integrating with government ecosystems.
    • Both of those countries have defined what's called a trust framework—the US led by NIST has something similar.  We work to become accredited with those types of frameworks, which means the product or platform you’re bringing to market to operate in the world of digital identity is in compliance with the trust framework and the ID proofing methods that are mandated.
    • In the US it’s a state-based approach, it's not something where the federal level is creating an all-citizen repository, but rather it's tethered to the existing driver's license ecosystem, so we've looked to plug into that both to ensure that we can pass those digital
    • credentials and so that we can validate other pieces of evidence as are applicable according to different trust frameworks.
    • As Mastercard continues to expand its global digital identity network, innovative solutions such as those offered by ID document verification by Microblink, are enhancing trust and security in digital transactions. These technologies not only streamline identity verification but also offer a layer of protection against fraud, making them indispensable and contributing to a safer digital environment.

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  • Privacy preservation and decentralized design are non-negotiable for Mastercard (So data privacy, data minimization, only sharing what's needed), and they aim to ensure global interoperability with different countries' trust frameworks. Mastercard believes that strong public-private partnerships can help build this ecosystem globally and in the commercial sector, creating enormous lift for businesses, people, and governments.

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