With demand for artificial-intelligence capability soaring across most industries, Mastercard Inc. on Monday announced it is making the technology available to client institutions through a program it calls AI Express. Also on Monday, Mastercard and ATM maker Diebold Nixdorf Inc. unveiled a pair of new cardless ATM features.
The new AI Express service is aimed at helping institutions detect, prevent, and manage such risks as money laundering, fraud, cyber security, and credit, as well as increase operational efficiency, according to Mastercard. The service relies on technology from Brighterion Inc., a San Francisco-based company Mastercard acquired last summer. The company’s “Smart Agent” capability, for example, helps companies improve authorization decisions at the time of purchase.
“If data is the oil that powers the digital economy, artificial intelligence is the refinery,” said Ajay Bhalla, chief security solutions officer at Mastercard, in a statement. “For companies looking to take advantage of the technology today, AI Express offers quick results along with the know-how to move forward with a full-fledged artificial-intelligence deployment.”
Mastercard figures interest in AI, as well as demand for people skilled in the technology, has grown so fast it has left many institutions wondering how to catch up quickly. The technology, which embraces such techniques as machine learning, is also delivering impressive results. A recent McKinsey & Co. report figures it can produce potential incremental value of 50% over “other analytics techniques” in banking alone. In retail, the incremental increase is 87%. At the same time, some outlets are reporting a shortage of skilled AI technicians.
“AI is a top-of-mind area of investment for many companies, particularly those in the financial sector, and a number of leading issuer, merchant, and acquirer customers in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe are already working with us,” says Bhalla in an email response to questions from Digital Transactions News. “As data flows increase through more devices, customers are aware they need to build smarter systems, not bigger, and that is where AI can add significant value.”
With Canton, Ohio-based Diebold Nixdorf, meanwhile, Mastercard has announced two new ATM services, Cash Pick-Up and Cardless ATM. The former service opens cash delivery at ATMs not only to banked consumers but to unbanked as well, Diebold Nixdorf says. Users need not have a card but must be authenticated. Further details were not immediately available. “This … allows financial institutions and ATM deployers to increase their revenue through new transaction volumes,” the companies say in a news release.
Cardless ATM is aimed at those holding a bank account and allows them to use a mobile-banking app to set up a withdrawal so they can pull cash from an ATM later. By channeling private authentication data through the app rather than the ATM, the service is said to be more secure than a conventional ATM withdrawal.
“Many of our customers are looking to retain consumers and drive incremental transactions to their self-service channels, and this partnership with Mastercard delivers on both of these fronts,” said Alan Kerr, senior vice president for software at Diebold Nixdorf, in a statement.