Ecommerce has seemingly thrived as a result of COVID-19 and lockdown, with South Africans businesses in particular now moving to ensure that they are online and can meet the needs of their customers. The ecommerce landscape is not perfect, however, and a recent collaboration between Mastercard and Microsoft aims to bring more innovation to the fore.

To that end the collaboration will Mastercard Labs, which is a cloud-native research arm of the payment specialists, look to develop greater digital technologies while leveraging Microsoft’s Azure platform to do so.

The end goal is to aid Mastercard’s partners through access to technical expertise and cutting-edge technologies, according to the firm, with those businesses being empowered to build and securely scale new solutions.

“We are thrilled to deepen our longstanding relationship with Microsoft by advancing the research, development and scaling of new technologies and business models,” notes Ken Moore, EVP and head of Mastercard Labs.

“This strategic collaboration will strengthen and extend our cloud services and capabilities for clients and fintech partners, sparking innovation and creativity for the ecosystem. It will enable us to explore opportunities focused on new client segments, technologies and trends as we continue to drive financial inclusion and build the future of commerce,” he adds.

While the guise that these innovative ecommerce solutions will take, are yet to be outlined, it looks like Mastercard is looking to tap into some of the highly eulogised trends and technologies that have been bandied about over the past couple of years.

“Through access to Azure technologies, augmented and virtual reality and Internet of Things, fintech partners will be empowered to create new user experiences to advance how consumers, businesses and governments exchange value,” explains a press release regarding the collaboration.

“Mastercard’s Start Path program has assisted with the development of over 230 fintech companies worldwide, democratizing access to financial services. Building on that momentum, the collaboration will expand support for the fintech community by helping diversify and build new businesses, and create and scale new cloud-first digital products and services,” it adds.

It remains to be seen what this collaboration yields, but we expect to more like it as ecommerce becomes increasingly important both during and after COVID-19.