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Mastercard to buy digital ID firm Ekata for $850m

Mastercard to buy digital ID firm Ekata for $850m

Mastercard has agreed an $850 million deal to buy AI-powered digital identity verification company Ekata.

Ekata works with merchants, financial institutions, travel companies, marketplaces and digital currency platforms, helping them to identify bad actors in real-time during online account opening, payments and other digital interactions.

Mastercard says the addition of Ekata's technology and engineering teams will help bolster the support it can provide as a one-stop partner for any consumer, bank, merchant, fintech or government’s data, payment and open banking needs.

The payments giant also stresses the combined capabilities across digital-first, instalment and crypto payment services, with the potential to expand further to real-time payments and cross-border activities.

Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions, Mastercard, says: "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."

The acquisition is expected to close within six months, subject to regulatory review.

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