April 19, 2021 – Ekata, Inc., the global leader in dynamic identity verification solutions for real-time risk decisioning, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Mastercard for US$850 million to advance global digital identity efforts.
The global COVID crisis and its downstream effects triggered a five-year quantum leap forward in the transformation of the digital economy, with a particular focus on the digital payments ecosystem. “The acceleration of online transactions, fueled by a rapidly changing regulatory environment, has elevated global digital identity verification as one of the most effective opportunities to build digital trust and combat global fraud threats,” said CEO of Ekata, Rob Eleveld.
Mastercard’s strategic acquisition of Ekata enables Mastercard and Ekata together to continue to meet the growing demands of, and threats to, the global payments ecosystem. In particular, Ekata’s global identity verification solutions will join Mastercard’s Cyber and Intelligence business 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.
“The shift to a more digital world requires us to secure every transaction and protect trust in every interaction. Security and a seamless customer experience across entire cyber environments are real problems that deserve real solutions,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard. “We have an opportunity to ensure that the digital way to prove you are who you say you are and establishing that trust is as easy as it is with paper credentials today. With the addition of Ekata, we will advance our digital identity strategy as part of a broader effort to power the digital economy.”
Ekata’s proprietary technology, data assets, and engineering prowess, added to Mastercard’s identity solutions, will help bolster efforts to provide a one-stop partner for any consumer, bank, merchant, fintech, or government’s data, payment, and open banking needs.
“Mastercard’s focus on making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible for everyone directly aligns with Ekata’s vision of to empower safe, confident online transactions through digital identity,” said Alex Algard, chairman and founder of Ekata.”Rob and the Ekata team have set the bar for digital identity verification globally, and Mastercard is a natural home for Ekata to take the next step in its journey.”
Ekata and Mastercard share a commitment to safe and secure data practices centered around the individual, further reinforcing our collective value to the end user.
The transaction, which is anticipated to close in the next six months, is subject to customary closing conditions. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Ekata, and DLA Piper LLP is serving as legal counsel.
Ekata Inc, is the global leader in digital identity verification solutions that provide 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 distinct, proprietary data sets—the Ekata Identity Graph (enables 1B+ global identities and 8B+ authoritative identity entities) and the Ekata Identity Network (analyzes 16B+ identity elements through 6B+ global queries). Ekata’s global suite of APIs and SaaS solutions help 2000+ businesses and partners combat cyber fraud and enable an inclusive, frictionless experience in over 230 countries and territories.
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.