The acquisition will enable Mastercard to combine Ekata's identity verification data and ML technology with its fraud prevention and digital identity programmes


Mastercard to acquire Ekata. (Credit: Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay.)

Payment technology company Mastercard has agreed to acquire digital identity verification solutions provider Ekata for $850m to advance its identity verification capabilities.

Ekata serves a wide range of global merchants, financial institutions, travel companies, marketplaces and digital currency platforms.

The company leverages insights to deliver unique scores, data attributes and risk indicators that can be used by businesses for making more informed decisions.

Also, they help customers identify good businesses and bad actors in real-time during online account opening, payments and various other digital interactions.

Ekata CEO Rob Eleveld said: “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.

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

“Becoming part of the Mastercard Identity family ensures a broader, collective approach to meeting the growing demands of the digital economy.”

In 2019, Mastercard has rolled out a framework on how digital interactions should evolve, and how digital identity will build trust, collaboration and economic growth.

The framework is currently being used across various sectors, from education to travel to healthcare, said the company.

With the acquisition, Ekata’s identity verification data, machine learning (ML) technology and global experience will combine with Mastercard’s fraud prevention and digital identity programmes.

The combination would help businesses confidently know about their customers and enables their customers to safely interact online.

The transaction is expected to close within six months, subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions.

Mastercard cyber and intelligence solutions president Ajay Bhalla said: “The shift to a more digital world requires real solutions to secure every transaction and instil trust in every interaction.

“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.”