Financial giant Mastercard announced that it will acquire Seattle startup Ekata for $850 million. Ekata’s software will permit Mastercard to recognize fraudsters and legitimate customers in real-time. The deal is expected to close within six months.
- Ekata sells identity verification products to help more than 2,000 businesses such as Postmates, Alaska Airlines, and Lyft. It shaped out of Whitepages in 2019 and has around 200 employees across offices in Seattle, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Budapest.
- Mastercard surely sees the rapid digital change that is happening in online commerce, a move that was accelerated by COVID. It’s a transformation that once started isn’t likely to change back to the old ways of doing business, even when we get past the pandemic. Mastercard said it will use Ekata’s technology to “Deliver a more comprehensive identity service that can power real-time decision-making needs, from new account openings to helping merchants assess potential fraud before a payment transaction is authorized”.
- With Ekata, the company gets a resolution that can check the online identity of a person making the transaction using various signals that can indicate if this is fraudulent or true as they open an account or transact business. The company renders a score and other data that foretell the likelihood if the person is who they say he or she is.
- According to Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at the company, “With the addition of Ekata, we will advance our identity abilities and create a safer, seamless way for consumers to prove who they say they are in the new digital economy”.