Mastercard buys identity verification company Ekata

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Mastercard will acquire Ekata’s Identity Engine SaaS in a deal worth $850 million

This week Mastercard moved to advance its identity verification efforts with the acquisition of Ekata for US$850 million.

Ekata provides global identity verification data via application programming interfaces. They deliver their solution on a software-as-a-service basis, focusing on helping businesses assess digital risk. The company, which was founded in 1997, allows businesses to link digital transactions to the actual person behind it. Their service allows clients to comply with regulatory requirements, the company claims.

Mastercard announced the acquisition in a press release on Monday.

Ekata’s Identity Engine uses datasets from the Ekata Identity Graph and the Ekata Identity Network to provide identity verification data. They claim that their SaaS platform provides consistent results across the globe with fast response times.

Delivering “smarter” identity verification

The company describes their solution as “smarter identity verification.” Their service provides assistance in areas like preventing fake accounts and reducing payment risks. It also combats transaction fraud and provides the ability to cross-verify customer information, they claim.

Ekata works with a wide range of global merchants, financial institutions, travel companies, marketplaces and digital currency platforms. The company uses insights to deliver unique scores, data attributes and risk indicators. Businesses then use these data points to make more informed decisions. Ekata help their customers identify good consumers and businesses and bad actors in real-time. They do this during online account opening, payments and other digital interactions.

“The shift to a more digital world requires real solutions to secure every transaction and instill trust in every interaction,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard.

“With the addition of Ekata, we will advance our identity capabilities and create a safer, seamless way for consumers to prove who they say they are in the new digital economy.”

“The acceleration of online transactions has thrust global digital identity verification to the forefront as one of the biggest opportunities to build digital trust and combat global fraud,” said Rob Eleveld, CEO at Ekata, Inc.

“The right identity verification solutions enable inclusive and frictionless experiences while, at the same time, ensuring customer privacy, control and security.

Ekata claims more than 2,000 customers. They include Lyft Inc., Postmates Inc., American Airlines Inc., Equifax Inc., Intuit Inc., and Sage Group plc.