Mastercard has entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with quantum computing company D-Wave.

The two companies will collaborate on the research and development of quantum-hybrid applications in areas such as consumer loyalty and rewards, cross-border settlement and fraud management.

D-Wave quantum computer
– D-Wave

D-Wave uses quantum annealing, rather than the quantum gate approach favored by rivals like Google and IBM. It is generally seen as less flexible or powerful, but is still useful for optimization problems.

The partnership will use D-Wave’s annealing quantum computers and quantum hybrid solvers through D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service to deliver real-time access to quantum applications safely and securely powered by Mastercard’s network.

“We are heralding in the next wave of computing. Just like the creation of the PC, the emergence of the internet and the proliferation of smartphones and voice assistants, it is our belief that quantum will have far-reaching and industry-disrupting impact, especially in the financial services sector,” said Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave.

“D-Wave and Mastercard have a shared vision of harnessing the power of technology to positively affect business and society. This alliance supports that vision by delivering quantum innovation that will tackle increasingly complex problem sets across applications like optimized loyalty programs, fraud management and anti-money laundering in financial services and, ultimately, unlock more value for customers.”

Ken Moore, chief innovation officer at Mastercard, added: “People expect hyper-personalized experiences. Quantum computing’s unique ability to analyze huge numbers of potential combinations can deliver optimal solutions that will improve efficiency and provide choice.

“Our work with D-Wave will explore the endless applications of quantum computing for practical, real-world financial services applications.”

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