Protecting trust in our evolving cyber landscape

November 16, 2022 | By Ajay Bhalla

Over the coming weeks – as the holiday season takes hold – we are likely to see another big spike in online spending as we increasingly shop, consume and spend time digitally.

This upwards trend in ecommerce - online sales in the US have climbed by 12.7% in the last year – and 96% since pre-pandemic - challenges us to ensure payment security stays lock step with technological advancement, and protects users while they enjoy improved customer experience.

With cybercrime now estimated to cost the global economy in the region of $5 trillion (close to 5% of world GDP1) businesses, large or small, need to be able to keep their customers safe, while continuing to offer frictionless services. In short, in an era of fast-paced innovation, trust is central to success.

So how do we achieve this? Firstly, we continue to secure payments from end-to-end. At Mastercard we protect the consumer journey from the moment the browser or app is opened, right the way through to the package arriving on the doorstep and the purchase is complete.

Our AI-powered solutions have saved $30 billion across our network by detecting fraudulent transactions in the past two years alone.

Secondly, we continue to monitor risk across the global digital ecosystem – equipping customers with the information they need to detect fraud vulnerability. Covering 13 million entities we are one of the world's largest cyber assessment providers.

Thirdly, we need to constantly adapt and advance to stay ahead. We draw on identity verification data and machine learning to help our customers confidently know who their customers are and, in turn, help them safely interact online.

We’re constantly advancing our behavioural technology solutions to assess data, such as how you hold your phone or how fast you type or swipe. It acts in real time to detect when devices are compromised and acts quickly to prevent fraud.

In short: at Mastercard, trust is our business. Our technology enables customers to innovate faster and more securely, providing support at each step of the consumer digital journey to keep them in good cyberhealth.

So where do we go from here? Advancements in technology have the potential to change life as we know it. So, we can tap into our ground-breaking technology solutions to seamlessly enable how we want to live, work and play.

With the emergence of 5G, quantum, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, we’re constantly evolving with it. Our new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) technology,  an industry-first, has security that is 3 million times harder to break.

This helps ensure that, as new technologies like quantum computing are introduced, contactless technology is future-proofed to ensure consumers will continue to enjoy the same high levels of security and convenience they do today, in the decades to come.

And, of course, our vision is not only to make the ecosystem safer, more secure and seamless – but also more sustainable. That is why we are building a sustainable digital economy in which everyone prospers.

We all have a role to play in conserving our planet – whether individuals, business leaders or government. This means developing products and programs that help us contribute to a sustainable future, such as our sustainable cards program which now has more than 100 million cards in circulation.

So, in this era of digitisation and rising ecommerce, it’s not only vital that this work continues but that we go further, faster, in today’s evolving cyber landscape, ensuring innovation never outpaces trust.

And as fingers hover over screens and devices this holiday season we will be laser-focused behind the scenes, balancing consumer choice with cyber protection and solving real-world problems while helping to keep businesses and people safe.


1 Two reports form the basis of this statistic: (a) Navigating The Fraud Economy: Five Tactics To Fend Off Fraudsters (; (b) Fraud costs the global economy over US$5 trillion  | Crowe Global

Photo of Ajay Bhalla
Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber & Intelligence