Digital Identity: Payments Giant Mastercard Finalizes Acquisition of ID Verification Service Ekata

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) revealed on Friday (June 11, 2021) that it has finalized its acquisition of Ekata, a provider of identity verification services that assist companies or businesses with making informed decisions when opening online accounts, conducting payments and handling various other digital interactions.

Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence, Mastercard, stated:

“We’re delighted to welcome the Ekata team to Mastercard. Our focus will now be on bringing our talented teams together and advancing our identity capabilities to create a safer, seamless way for consumers to prove who they say they are in the new digital economy. Central to all of this is the balance of a frictionless experience with the trust delivered through a relentless commitment to customer privacy, control and security.”

Proving your identity is vital when trying to establish trust in the digital environment. Individuals or entities that don’t have an official identification usually face greater barriers to financial inclusion and when trying to access critical healthcare services.

Ekata’s ID verification data, machine learning tech, and international experience should add to Mastercard’s existing fraud prevention and digital identity solutions. The combined services stack should assist companies with confidently knowing who their clients are and, in turn, help those users safely interact in a digital world, while continuing to support the responsible use of data.

In May 2021, Mastercard joined a $25 million investment round in Australia-based payments-as-a-service Fintech mx51.

The capital secured represented mx51’s first major funding round, which has been finalized less than a year after the company branched out of Assembly Payments (in May of last year). The business is being led and was founded by ex- Westpac executive and ex- Assembly Payments co-CEO Victor Zheng.

Also in May, Mastercard welcomed six startups to its Mastercard Start Path program. The startups were notably dedicated to building blockchain-based payments solutions and also designing sustainable lending platforms.

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