Mastercard to buy a 2-year-old digital ID verification startup Ekata for nearly $1 billion
With billions of people now shopping online, trust remains the key ingredient to conducting digital commerce. Central to creating trust in a digital world is the ability to prove your digital identity – who you are, whether you are interacting in person, online or in-app.
It’s because of this tenet that global payments processor Mastercard took steps to advance its identity verification efforts with the acquisition of Ekata. In an announcement on Monday, Mastercard said it had agreed to buy digital identity verification company Ekata in a deal valued at $850 million, as the global payments processor bets on a boom in demand for companies in the digital security space.
Founded in 2019 by Alex Algard, the Seattle, Washington-based Ekata’s products allow businesses to identify and separate fraudsters from legitimate customers during digital interactions like opening an online account or making digital payments. It operates in three industries: e-commerce, payments, and financial services, according to its website.
Ekata provides businesses worldwide the ability to link any digital transaction to the human behind it. The Ekata product suite is powered by the Ekata Identity Engine, comprised of two proprietary data sets — the Ekata Identity Graph and the Ekata Identity Network. Ekata’s global suite of APIs and SaaS solutions help 2,000+ businesses and partners combat cyber fraud and enable an inclusive, frictionless experience in over 230 countries and territories.
“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, chief executive officer of Ekata, in a statement.
“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.”
Ekata’s identity verification data, machine learning technology and global experience combined with Mastercard’s fraud prevention and digital identity programs will help businesses confidently know who their customers are and, in turn, help those customers safely interact online. Mastercard and Ekata’s integrated services will build on both companies’ commitments to ensure trust and the responsible use of data.
“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. Becoming part of the Mastercard Identity family ensures a broader, collective approach to meeting the growing demands of the digital economy.”