Mastercard has strengthened its online identity management capability by acquiring Ekata, an identity verification firm, for US$850 Million. This move has been prompted by rapid digital transformation happening in online commerce, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Ekata, Mastercard has a solution that can verify a person’s online identity making the transaction in real-time.
Ekata provides a score and other data that predicts this person’s likelihood is who they say they are. It is not unlike a credit risk score, except for identity.
Mastercard to increase its online verification capabilities
According to Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber and Intelligence Solutions at the plastic cash firm, the addition of Ekata will advance Mastercard’s identity capabilities and create a safer, seamless way for consumers to prove who they say they are in the new digital economy.
The card firm will combine its fraud detection solutions with Ekata’s scoring approach to stop rogue actors from using online platforms to conduct illegal activities.
Rob Eleveld, CEO at Ekata, said that an increase in the volume of online transactions had thrust global digital identity verification to the forefront as one of the most significant opportunities to build digital trust and deal with international fraud.
The company, formerly known as White Page Pro, changed to Ekata in June 2019.
It appears that Mastercard was willing to pay to get the company it wanted at a time when a solution like this is becoming more essential than ever.
The acquisition is subject to standard regulatory approval. Regulators quashed the Visa-Plaid deal in 2020.
According to the company, if this acquisition is approved, it should close sometime in the next six months.