Today, Mastercard unveiled the "Experience Centre” at its Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence (“Centre of Excellence”) in Vancouver, BC, where local, national and international tech communities are invited to collaborate on cyber security innovation. The Experience Centre also features emerging Mastercard products and solutions that are already securing digital payments on a global scale, including those developed locally in Vancouver.
“Rapid advancements in digital technology have changed the way we shop, pay, work and interact, but with increased convenience comes increased risk,” said Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard Canada. “Building on the world-class innovations developed at our Centre of Excellence in Vancouver, this new Experience Centre offers a venue for much-needed industry collaboration to anticipate and neutralize ever-expanding cyber threats to our global digital economy.”
Announced in 2020, Mastercard’s Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence is leading innovation in cyber and intelligence (C&I), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Research from the Centre is already enhancing Mastercard solutions, combining the Centre’s biometric security algorithms with existing cyber capabilities is creating new approaches to enhance online security. In just two-and-a-half years, the Centre of Excellence is making quick progress against its long-term goals, such as:
- filing more than 30 local patents that will secure cyberspace by building confidence in our connected devices, reducing the presence of malicious bots, bad human actors, and establishing a seamless experience for online interactions; and
- creating and maintaining more than 230 quality tech jobs to date, ranging from software engineers to data scientists to product and program managers, with many more roles to fill.
“We are achieving this unprecedented level of cyber security innovation by attracting top talent from across Canada and the world to work smarter, better and faster in a creative, inclusive environment embedded in Vancouver’s vibrant tech community,” said Sasha Krstic. “Mastercard’s Centre of Excellence is not only making digital payments safer for consumers and businesses everywhere, it’s helping cement Canada’s role as a global powerhouse in cyber security innovation.”
Investing in Canadian Innovation
Mastercard has significantly expanded its technology footprint in Canada over the past five years. In 2020, Mastercard announced a $510 million CAD investment to establish the Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence in partnership with the Government of Canada to achieve their shared vision of building a better, more secure digital economy for everyone by leveraging Canadian innovation. This builds on the acquisitions of Vancouver-based NuData Security and Toronto-based Ethoca.
As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthening Canadian innovation, Mastercard has proudly invested more than $6.3 million in strategic partnerships and knowledge-sharing across Canada’s entire tech ecosystem through the Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence to-date. These investments are designed to:
- scale C&I research and development (R&D) and bring Canadian innovations to market faster, making the global digital economy more secure;
- nurture next-gen Canadian talent and expand STEAM opportunities for underrepresented groups, as true cyber security demands that diverse talent drive inclusive innovation; and
- provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the same cyber security tools and protection as larger enterprises so Canada’s economy can continue to thrive.
Strategic partnerships and community investments announced by Mastercard include:
- Digital Main Street: creating engagement tools that help Canadian “mom and pop” businesses become more cyber aware, as well as 10 post-graduate internship spaces at the Mastercard Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence over five years;
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB): creating gamified, mobile-first cyber training for small- and medium-sized businesses;
- Pow Wow Pitch: sponsoring a new tech stream in the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program;
- Mitacs: creating 50 internships at Mastercard’s Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence for graduate students across Canada over five years;
- University of New Brunswick: funding the Mastercard Research Chair in IoT and a new Cyber Security Research Lab;
- Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst: accelerating cyber security training and young leader development at Toronto Metropolitan University;
- Science World: developing STEAM training for girls in grades 2 to 9 through the “Tech-Up” program; and
- Girls4Tech: expanding cyber programming for Canadian girls.
“Vancouver and Canada more broadly are brimming with talent and expertise in a range of STEM fields, including cyber and intelligence,” said Mansur Mirani, VP of the Mastercard Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence in Vancouver. “Investments across our tech ecosystems, especially in diverse communities, unlocks additional potential in our knowledge economy that will keep Canada on the forefront of global cyber security innovation for generations to come.”