Mastercard has completed the acquisition of Ekata - an identity verification company, in a deal worth $850 million. The company, which was previously known as Whitepages Pro, was spun out as Ekata in June 2019.
The company provides a score and other data that predicts the likelihood that this person is who they say they are. It's not unlike a credit risk score, except for identity. That was one of the primary reasons Mastercard decided to acquire Ekata, according to Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions, 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," Bhalla said in a statement.
The two companies believe that by combining Mastercard's fraud detection solutions with Ekata's scoring approach, they will help prevent bad actors from using online platforms to conduct business.
Mastercard's partnership with Ekata will give the payment giant the ability to verify a person's online identity making the transaction in real-time using various signals that can indicate if this is fraudulent or true as they open an account transact business.
The deal is expected to be closed in the next six months if regulators okay the deal. However, a similar deal between Visa and Plaid was quashed by regulators last years. So the success of the acquisition of Ekata by Mastercard is subject to regulatory approval.