Mastercard plans to advance its identity verification efforts with the acquisition of Ekata for US$850 million.Digital identity is a foundational part of Mastercard's multi-layered approach to security. In 2019, the company introduced a new framework on how digital interactions should evolve, as well as how digital identity will build trust, collaboration and economic growth. That framework is now in use across a number of sectors, from education to travel to healthcare.Ekata works with a wide range of global merchants, financial institutions, travel companies, marketplaces and digital currency platforms. The company uses insights to deliver unique scores, data attributes and risk indicators that businesses then use to make more informed decisions. They help their customers identify good consumers and businesses and bad actors in real-time during online account opening, payments and variety of other digital interactions."The shift to a more digital world requires real solutions to secure every transaction and instill trust in every interaction," said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at 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."Ekata's identity verification data, machine learning technology and global experience combined with Mastercard's fraud prevention and digital identity programs will help businesses confidently know who their customers are and, in turn, help those customers safely interact online. Mastercard and Ekata's integrated services will build on both companies' commitments to ensure trust and the responsible use of data."The acceleration of online transactions has thrust global digital identity verification to the forefront as one of the biggest opportunities to build digital trust and combat global fraud," said Rob Eleveld, CEO at Ekata, Inc. "The right identity verification solutions enable inclusive and frictionless experiences while, at the same time, ensuring customer privacy, control and security. Becoming part of the Mastercard Identity family ensures a broader, collective approach to meeting the growing demands of the digital economy."Ekata is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Amsterdam, Singapore and Budapest.