Mastercard turned to quantum computing to achieve loyalty

Quantum computing seems like a building block for the space age, or at least the potential to build huge, powerful networks that can solve humanity’s most complex and troubling problems.

But Steve FlinterVice President, Software Engineering at Master Card Credit Cardtold PYMNTS in an interview that quantum computing also has the potential to completely transform the fundamentals of consumer-facing commerce.

With this in mind, the payments network has entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with D . wave systems To harness quantum computing in an attempt to hyper-personalize everyday financial services.

See also: Mastercard is working with D-Wave to develop hybrid quantum solutions

In details of the partnership, the companies said they will work together on research and development initiatives that will have applications in consumer loyalty, rewards, cross-border settlement and fraud management.

In terms of mechanics, the collaboration will use the D-Wave cloud computing platform to provide real-time access to ‘safe and secure’ quantum applications powered by the Mastercard network.

At a high level, Flinter said, quantum computing represents the «next evolution of computing» – a natural extension of the trends that brought technology that was the domain of computational theorists (and science fiction novelists) two decades ago to new business models.

Complexity handling

Quantum computing, through the efforts of companies like D-Wave, uses new ways of looking at physical reality to build new computing devices that solve the most difficult and complex problems that even the most advanced devices of today can hope to approach.

“This will give us, on the user side, access to the computational power that will allow us to build a suite of applications, products, and services for our enterprise clients and our clients’ clients. [consumers]Flinter said.

Pointing to how quantum applications could transform finance, Flinter noted that as the technologies are applied to derivatives and credit risk pricing — capital markets, in other words — Mastercard wants to see how this new era of computing can remedy some of the pain. Pips are inherent in daily trading.

Related: Mastercard Gamer Xchange converts points into currency

These pain points, he said, are easily noticeable in the fact that as the scale of problems increases exponentially, traditional computers cannot scale to solve them. For example, as loyalty programs gain traction, and merchants, banks and consumers crowd into the e-commerce landscape, it becomes harder and harder to match the best rates and offers for cardholders while meeting their ever-increasing expectations.

The quantitative efforts also mean that financial institutions and other companies can use «hyper-allocation» as they gain insight into consumer behaviors (again, at scale), he said.

in real time.

“You can start using location awareness services,” Flinter said, allowing companies to tailor their offerings on a consumer-by-consumer basis, in the context of the commerce that’s happening right now, with authorized data.

Looking ahead, Flinter said Mastercard’s joint efforts with D-Wave will seek to touch the «full suite of business units» across the payments network, enabling each unit to find applications within its own domains to build quantity-backed solutions for its end customers.

“We will find ways to make our existing suites of apps better and more powerful, unveiling entirely new ideas that we—and perhaps no one else—have thought before… creating new businesses and markets,” Flinter said.

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Around: Findings from the new PYMNTS study, “App Super Transformation: How Consumers Want to Save, Shop and Spend in the Connected Economy,” in collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses of 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And it showed a strong demand for single multifunctional applications instead of using dozens of people.