Mastercard’s Digital Wellness program uses A.I. to make online paying safer

mastercard digital wellness program

Mastercard wants to make paying for items online both a little easier and a little safer — and it’s using some pretty fancy tech to make that happen. The company announced the new Mastercard Digital Wellness program, which is aimed at deploying new standards and implementing a ton of tech to enable businesses to protect their customers’ data.

As part of the new program, Mastercard plans on deploying EMVCo’s (Europay, Mastercard, Visa)  standards, which includes a new click-to-pay checkout system — replacing old key-entry checkout systems and making it much easier to make purchases. The system is compatible across systems, too — it can be used for all kinds of online shopping, multiple devices, and across cards.

“We launched Mastercard Digital Wellness today because we believe that businesses shouldn’t have to sacrifice safety or choice as they build the best experiences for their customers,” Mastercard executive Jess Turner said in a statement. “Any changes to how we shop online must deliver enhanced levels of security, transparency, and flexibility for everyone.”

The new system comes at a good time. According to Mastercard, research suggests that one of the biggest barriers for entry when it comes to shopping online is the unease when it comes to paying for things online, and the prospect of having to create a new user account. Because of that, customers are far less likely to shop for things on smaller websites or with unknown retailers.

Merchants who end up enabling the new Mastercard click-to-pay tech could get a lot out of it. For starters, merchants will get access to tokenization and Mastercard’s NuData, which is Mastercard’s artificial intelligence and machine learning tech. NuData is aimed at helping prevent fraud by monitoring things like website traffic changes, analyzing changes in browsers, web surfing speeds, and more. It can also verify user data by analyzing things like scroll speed, the hand that a user uses on their device, keystrokes, and so on — all data that Mastercard says makes a user unique. It’s a combination of these technologies that allow customers to click-to-pay without having to enter passwords. According to the NuData website, the system brings together “billions of data points collected across the full customer base to increase decision accuracy.”

Of course, just because the new Digital Wellness program is available to merchants, that doesn’t necessarily mean that merchants will actually adopt it.

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