Brighterion is the AI platform trusted by over 2,000 organizations globally. We use this same technology to prevent fraud on every Mastercard payment. Mastercard’s longtime experience in strategic implementation of AI and building trust has led to our five pillars of AI.

AI is a powerful tool. The same proven AI technology used by Mastercard is available to financial and healthcare organizations. Because we have over 20 years of AI expertise, customers can trust that our AI solutions are built on a strategic foundation that prioritizes ethics and inclusivity as much as growth and efficiency.

Many factors need to be considered when implementing AI. Is AI trustworthy? Is it safe? Will my customers’ data be protected? Each pillar of Mastercard AI is thoughtfully crafted to uphold a level of integrity when implementing AI at scale. As we stand on the precipice of a new era in technology, we asked Mastercard’s executives to share lessons learned and their vision for the future of AI.

The role of trust in business

Before we jump into our five pillars, let’s talk about trust in business. Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions at Mastercard, is passionate about the balance between engendering trust in technology and fostering AI innovation. He spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this year about trust and transparency.

“The trust that is needed for AI to be most effective will come when consumers see and feel its real-world benefits in action. In this sense, trust can be a key differentiator – a competitive advantage for businesses,” Bhalla wrote in a recent World Economic Forum blog.

Bhalla cites a recent Capgemini study on AI and public trust in his blog post. The study, titled Why addressing ethical questions in AI will benefit organizations, found 62 percent of consumers put more trust in companies whose AI is visibly ethical, and 61 percent would refer those companies to others. Consumer loyalty to ethical companies was measured at 59 percent.

Mastercard’s five pillars of AI

Mastercard has taken great strides to become a technology company and is now a global leader in AI innovation. They are ready to support customers on their AI journey and these five pillars will help business leaders to trust the process and the technology.

AI-powered products and services

Pillar 1: AI-powered products and services

Mastercard offers a variety of trusted AI solutions for a range of business problems. Brighterion’s AI solutions prevent payment and acquirer fraud, reduce credit risk and delinquency, fight financial crime, prevent healthcare fraud waste and abuse and more. AI-powered products and services are efficient, accurate and provide real-time decisioning.

Based on what we’ve learned when implementing Brighterion AI for our own payments environment, we could see the need for a solution that was timely, accurate and tuned to our exact business needs.

“We are driven by the consumer experience which is to ensure consumers can safely and securely use their Mastercard for everyday purchases,” says Laura Quevedo, Executive Vice President, Decision and Transaction Solutions, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions, Mastercard.

“The Brighterion AI that powers our Decision Intelligence platform uses network data and insights to produce a highly accurate, real-time risk assessment to prevent fraud while reducing false declines and driving a holistic, positive experience for our customers. The power of the Brighterion technology delivers high impact performance,” she adds.

Decision Intelligence, a comprehensive decision and fraud detection platform, uses artificial intelligence technology to help financial institutions increase the accuracy of real-time approvals of genuine transactions and reduce false declines.

Quevado concludes, “at the core of the Decision Intelligence platform is a ‘Security-by-Design’ focus that protects cardholder data through anonymization and strict usage while the power of the Brighterion technology delivers high-impact performance.”

Brighterion AI-powered customers

Pillar 2: AI-powered customers

We empower our customers by providing them with customized AI tools to strategically plan and run their businesses.

By using our AI Express process, Mastercard and Brighterion help our customers in their AI journeys. In less than two months, we take them from data to intelligence in only six steps. We work with them across the business continuum to solve key business challenges.

AI Express is a highly practical, non-theoretical process that is laser focused on delivering value to customers, says Amyn Dhala, Vice President, Global Product Management, AI Express, Mastercard. “AI Express is customer-centered and our team stays rooted in reality.”

“Once we’ve assessed the organization’s challenge, we build a custom solution,” says Sudhir Jha, Mastercard Senior Vice President and Head of Brighterion. “Even if it’s the same use case as another business, this is a custom, transparent AI model geared to solving their particular problems and improving their revenue.”

The AI Express team also ensures AI model results are highly explainable. There are reason codes with every score to ensure complete transparency. For example, a customer can look on their mobile banking app and see the reason for the decline and avoid future issues.

Brighterion AI-powered Mastercard

Pillar 3: AI-powered Mastercard

Mastercard also uses AI internally to help scale their business, increase efficiencies and identify opportunities for revenue. These improvements are of great benefit to Mastercard customers in terms of reliability, functionality and efficiency.

AI ensures Mastercard servers are always running and optimizing transaction routing. As a result, response time is less than 10 milliseconds and networks operate 99.9999% of the time. This extraordinary scalability enables Mastercard to process over 100 billion transactions a year and identify incredible efficiencies in the company.

AI also creates Mastercard’s financial forecasts 90 days in advance to predict the upcoming volume of transactions. By sharing economic information with customers, Mastercard enables the entire ecosystem to plan and shift for the next quarter.

These projects take place under the leadership of Nitendra Rajput, Vice President, Product Development for Mastercard’s AI Garage, where these challenges are addressed by an innovative, multi-disciplinary team. “If we think of AI in terms of using it to help humans make decisions, we see that in any large organization people can use AI to make decisions in each of their divisions.”

However, seemingly simple things make a big difference, too. For example, Mastercard’s customer support inbox gets thousands of emails a day. Now, rather than staff manually sorting and routing emails, AI scans messages and directs them to the correct division. While it used to take a couple of days to respond, it now takes a couple of hours. As a result, staff can focus on what’s important: customers.

Brighterion AI for good

Pillar 4: AI for good

Giving back to the world is part of Mastercard’s DNA. AI for good is a vehicle for Mastercard to use its AI products to advance equitable economic growth.

“It’s been proven that having access to financial instruments can help people lift themselves out of poverty and progress at a much faster rate if they have access to bank accounts, credit and working capital,” says Rohit Chauhan, Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence at Mastercard.

Through Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth’s partnership with and The Rockefeller Foundation, AI is used to assist communities in the U.S. with the highest school dropout rates. “We want to help communities find ways to increase economic independence so youth can stay in school, which of course improves the jobs they qualify for,” Jha says.

Inclusive growth looks at all aspects of keeping a diverse, thriving economy. Mastercard is funding and working with MIT on research projects to see the effects of COVID-19 on communities and businesses. The result will be projections of future economic impacts on industries and regions that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

“We want to determine if there are things Mastercard can do that will allow people to bounce back faster,” says Chauhan. “If more people than estimated have to recover, it will be painful and hard.”

Brighterion builds ethical AI

Pillar 5: Ethical AI

Ajay Bhalla believes it’s incumbent upon organizations to “proactively demonstrate the responsible use of their technology to the world and to be prepared to explain and justify decisions made by those systems when required.”

How is that done? “When AI algorithms are implemented, we need to implement certain governance to ensure compliance,” Chauhan says. “Responsible AI algorithms minimize bias and are understandable, so people feel comfortable that AI is deployed responsibly, and that they understand it.”

Sudhir Jha sums up ethical AI quite simply: “Ethical AI is trustworthy, transparent, explainable, fair and just.”

Download the report Mastercard’s five pillars approach to thoughtful, strategic implementation of AI to learn more about the company’s focus on ethics, community development, great products and services, its customers and business operations.