2021 was a transformative year for Ekata, capped by joining the Mastercard family to accelerate our shared goal of building trust in the digital economy. As consumers moved more of their lives online, online businesses grew to serve them. Over the course of the year, Ekata solutions protected billions of digital interactions from fraud and enabled better, faster and more trustworthy onboarding and transaction experiences for consumers and merchants.
“By any measure, this was an incredible year for us as a business and as a team,” said Rob Eleveld, Ekata’s CEO. “We had the right mix of product, people and strategy to anticipate and navigate the tectonic changes taking place in the global economy. And now, as a part of Mastercard, we have the partnerships and scale to help more businesses know their customers, and, in turn, enable more people to safely interact online.”
Entering the second year of the global pandemic, consumers continued to transform the way they shop, bank and work, pushing many day-to-day transactions online and rapidly expanding the digital economy. While the availability of vaccines allowed in-person interactions to rebound somewhat in the US, Mastercard found that roughly 20% of the peak in the shift to ecommerce has stuck permanently for the retail sector. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures overall retail sales across all payment types including cash and check, US ecommerce sales increased 9.4% year-over year in November 2021.
The rapid adoption of online commerce also offered new opportunities and new incentives to fraudsters. For businesses, this only increased the challenge of providing frictionless experiences for consumers while minimizing fraud. As the digital economy continued to grow at a rapid pace in 2021, accurate and seamless digital identity verification and digital fraud prevention became even more critical to businesses.
As a result, we saw unprecedented query volume around the world. Here are a few highlights:
- Powered by machine learning and an unparalleled data set, Ekata protected close to 2.5 billion digital interactions globally against fraudulent activities in 2021.
- Query volume grew 258% in APAC, in part driven by new partnerships, and 35% in LATAM in 2021 over the previous year as reflected in the volume of API calls to the Ekata Identity Engine.
- New partnerships helped drive a 48% increase in partner-related queries from 2020 to 2021.
- Query volume among banking and lending (+55%) and ecommerce (+26%) customers was up significantly.
- In 2021, Ekata also saw great gains in the financial service sector being driven by new partnerships with Equifax and Feedzai.
The introduction of new products and improvements to existing solutions also helped Ekata meet emerging market needs:
- New fraud detection model releases helped customers even better identify genuine versus risky interactions, with a 10% increase in product efficacy across the globe.
- We introduced a new Merchant Onboarding solution to help payment service providers (PSPs) and B2B lenders better onboard the growing number of micro-merchants, sole proprietors, and independent contractors across the globe.
We are grateful to our customers, partners, and employees for their continued commitment to building trust in the digital economy. As we enter 2022, we’re thrilled to accelerate our mission together with Mastercard.