With A.I. announcement, Mastercard goes for the hype

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Corporations and politicians share a tendency to say things that are narrowly true, though a lack of context renders the statements misleading. Mastercard on Nov. 30 offered a terrific example of this in the security arena.

On that day, the card brand rolled out something it calls Decision Intelligence, which it said “uses artificial intelligence technology to help financial institutions increase the accuracy of real-time approvals of genuine transactions and reduce false declines.” That sounds pretty good. It then elaborated why it saw this as news: “This is the first use of AI being implemented on a global scale directly on the Mastercard network.” It also labels Decision Intelligence as “a radical new approach,” one that “takes a broader view in assessing, scoring and learning from each transaction. That score then enables the card issuer to apply the intelligence to the next transaction.” Mastercard’s Ajay Bhalla, president of its enterprise risk and security efforts, is even quoted as saying, “We are solving a major consumer pain point of being falsely declined when trying to make a purchase.”

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