Mastercard unveils innovation centre in Dubai

By | August 12, 2017

Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, has unveiled its newest payment solutions and groundbreaking technologies at the latest release of its ‘MEA Innovation Showcase’ in Dubai, UAE.

Featuring innovations that are shaping the future of the payments sector in the region, the location of the enhanced ‘MEA Innovation Showcase’ at the company’s regional headquarters in Dubai, highlights the UAE’s central role in initiating the push for the wider adoption of payments technologies, which in turn, is positively affecting the lives of thousands of people in the wider Middle East and Africa region.

The latest release follows the establishment of Financial Inclusion Labs in Nairobi, forming a part of Mastercard’s journey to deliver cutting-edge payment innovations in the region and displays both pilot and commercial projects conceived at Mastercard Labs around the world– covering robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), contactless payments technology, wearables, biometric authentications, unattended retail, financial inclusion solutions and more.

Raghu Malhotra, president, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, said: “We are excited to unveil the enhancements introduced at our ‘MEA Innovation Showcase’ in Dubai, to provide audiences in the region with a glimpse into how Mastercard is shaping the future of payments. The United Arab Emirates serves as a perfect backdrop to showcase these innovations, in view of the country’s strong drive for payment technologies.

“In addition to demonstrating Mastercard’s commitment towards championing revolutions in fintech and digital payments, the ‘MEA Innovation Showcase’ will offer a platform to stakeholders – financial institutions, end consumers, technologists, merchants, card issuers, entrepreneurs as well as the student community – to track the progress of this industry and collaborate in achieving the shared vision of financial inclusion in the region.”

A total of six themes and 25 demo products that will be updated regularly are among the key highlights of the Mastercard ‘MEA Innovation Showcase’. Amongst the notable technologies added to the centre is Masterpass QR – a payment solution that enables merchants to leapfrog POS (Point of Sale) terminals and traditional card readers in favour of a cost-effective QR code solution for secure and convenient payments.

The solution is being rolled out in 28 markets across MEA. The showcase also demonstrates key use cases of Masterpass, Mastercard’s contactless digital wallet that was first introduced in the Middle East region in the UAE, and allows customers to safely store all their payment cards and bank information in one place and shop on the go.

Another key addition to the showcase is on new commerce platforms including Mastercard’s innovation in robotics, AI and unattended retail. These include the conceptualization of digital payments within chatbots, messaging apps that use natural language interfaces to easily communicate with consumers on platforms they are already using every day; humanoid robot, Pepper, extending the robot’s ability to integrate customer service, information and sales into a seamless user experience; and Qkr! with Masterpass, a mobile payments platform that enables consumers to order and pay for food at locations such as cinemas, restaurants, stadiums and schools from their smart devices.

Solutions showcased in the space of financial inclusion include 2Kuze, a mobile platform pioneered in Middle East and Africa in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to connect smallholder farmers with customers directly and facilitate swift and safe transactions, and Mastercard Aid Network, an award-winning end-to-end technology solution for humanitarian aid distribution that works even in the absence of telecommunications infrastructure.

Prakriti Singh, vice president, Innovation Management, Mastercard Labs, MEA, said: “Our objective is to help advance the application of technology and innovation in the region and to drive co-creation with our stakeholders. Additionally, the spark of ideas and concepts that will emerge from the collaborative dialogue with visitors will be instrumental in further evolving and enhancing our roster of technology innovations at Mastercard globally.”

The Mastercard Innovation Showcase combined with Mastercard’s start-up engagement program Start Path and its global R&D expertise, will also provide a platform to drive collaborative dialogues with key stakeholders and fintechs in the region, creating a launchpad to advance payments innovation in Middle East and Africa. – TradeArabia News Service

Source: TradeArabia News Service