Mastercard announced today, at SmartCities NY, that it’s partnering with Microsoft to bring together payment, data analytics and cloud technologies from the two companies to create a global exchange that will help cities become smarter.

Mayors, policy makers, and urban planners will be able to gather insights from this collaboration to better understand root causes of issues and work on long-standing urban challenges such as traffic congestion or economic development.

In addition, Microsoft will join Mastercard’s City Possible global initiative to co-create and scale urban solutions through a united private sector.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to the rise of smart cities, volume 3 (Tech Pro Research PDF download)

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

Gamiño was most recently the chief technology officer for New York City, but left that job earlier this spring. His new role at Mastercard was announced yesterday. At Mastercard, he will lead the scaling of urban tech solutions and shape new partnership models to address cities’ most pressing challenges.

Trudy Norris-Grey, managing director, Microsoft CityNext said, “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. Our collaboration with Mastercard is an important step toward our goal of empowering cities to be more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive.”

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.

Other areas where Mastercard will work with Microsoft include:

  • Where applicable, Mastercard technologies and solutions will be embedded in Microsoft’s CityNext program, 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 in order to deliver 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.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • Mastercard is partnering with Microsoft to bring their combined payment, data analytics and cloud technologies to smart cities.
  • Miguel Gamiño Jr., former CTO for New York City, is the new executive vice president for global cities at Mastercard.

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