“Mastercard says that the actual transaction to acquire Ekata is expected to be completed within the next six months…”
Mastercard will be acquiring anti-fraud specialist Ekata in a transaction valued at $850 million.
In announcing the move, Mastercard framed it as part of a larger effort to build trust in e-commerce, referring to a white paper framework launched in 2019 that established the Mastercard Principles of Digital Identity.
Ekata’s platform relies on machine learning and data analytics to help Ekata clients verify the identities of their own customers and detect the signs of fake accounts and fraud. This is done through its Ekata Identity Engine, which should fit comfortably into Mastercard’s growing array of digital trust solutions.
“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,” explained Mastercard Cyber and Intelligence Solutions President Ajay Bhalla in a statement announcing the acquisition.
Ekata CEO Rob Eleveld, meanwhile, gestured to the broader trend of accelerating e-commerce in his comments on the agreement.
“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,” he said. “The right identity verification solutions enable inclusive and frictionless experiences while, at the same time, ensuring customer privacy, control and security.”
News of the acquisition arrives shortly after Ekata’s launch of its Merchant Onboarding solution. Aimed at payment service providers and lenders working with small businesses, the solution is designed to enable automated onboarding so that those small businesses and be verified and approved more quickly.
Mastercard says that the actual transaction to acquire Ekata is expected to be completed within the next six months, and that it doesn’t expect the acquisition to be dilutive to its business for more than 24 months.