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On January 8, global data, analytics and technology company Equifax announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kount, a provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions. The deal has closed for a gross transaction value of $640 million, including tax assets worth $22 million. Through this acquisition, Equifax hopes to expand its worldwide footprint in digital identity and fraud prevention solutions in its effort to help businesses better engage with their customers while combating fraud.
As global digital transformation accelerates, driving customer interactions to digital channels in record numbers, businesses require new ways to establish digital identity trust in real time to fight the growing problem of online fraud while reducing customer friction. In order to continue helping businesses successfully and smoothly combat fraud, Equifax plans on leveraging the Kount Identity Trust Global Network, a risk-based authentication platform.
The magic of Kount’s fraud prevention begins in its harnessing of networked data. The company’s Identity Trust Global Network houses a multi-dimensional data network of trust and fraud-related signals which serves as a resource and information bank for analytical use. The data network links signal data from 32 billion annual interactions across 250 countries and territories, over 75 industries, over 50 payment processors and card networks, and decisions from thousands of fraud analysts.
Using the power of adaptive AI and both unsupervised and supervised machine learning, the Identity Trust Global Network collects and combines more data with Kount’s AI-driven analytic insights. This improves the AI’s predictive ability and helps to prevent digital fraud and protect against account takeovers in real time while enabling personalized customer experiences.
Effectively, the Kount Identity Trust Global Network determines the level of trust for each identity behind every payment, account creation and login event. Businesses can determine the level of trust and risk they are comfortable accepting in order to block fraud in real time and to enable personalized customer experiences. Quick and accurate identity trust decisions can deliver safe payments, account creations, and login events while reducing digital fraud, chargebacks, false positives, and manual reviews.
“Together, Equifax and Kount will leverage a powerful set of differentiated data assets and advanced analytics to deliver a high performance, integrated view of both digitally-native transactions and signals and traditional offline identity fraud risk indicators while maintaining privacy and security at the highest levels,” said Sid Singh, President of United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax. “Whether you’re a bank, e-commerce provider, or a car dealer, today’s environment demands that consumers have the same—if not better—experience on their digital platform as they do on a major e-commerce retailer’s site. We are enabling businesses across industries to establish strong digital identity trust behind every interaction while facilitating new forms of online engagement with current and prospective customers.”
Equifax’s acquisition of Kount brings exciting developments toward the company’s future goals. The full suite of Kount products, including Kount Command for e-commerce fraud prevention, Kount Control for account takeover prevention and digital account protection, Kount Data on Demand for advanced analytics and actionable customer insights, and Near Real-Time Chargeback protection are powered by the Identity Trust Global Network and will be integrated into the Equifax Luminate Platform. Luminate is a comprehensive fraud platform that orchestrates multiple solutions with machine learning to provide risk managers with insights to help manage fraud decisions across the consumer account lifecycle.
Furthermore, Kount employees will join the largest Equifax business unit, the United States Information Solutions unit, and will continue to be based in Boise, Idaho. Kount CEO Bradley Wiskirchen will assume the role of Senior Vice President and General Manager, reporting to Sid Singh, president of United States Information Solutions at Equifax.
“The acquisition of Kount will expand Equifax’s differentiated data assets to bring global businesses the information and solutions they need to establish identity trust online,” said Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax. “Our data and technology cloud investments allow us to quickly and aggressively integrate new data and analytics assets like Kount into our global capabilities and bring new market leading products and solutions to our customers.”
For the future, the purchase of Kount further positions Equifax as a major global player in e-commerce, which is increasingly important as e-commerce and consumer finance converge, as both require establishing accurate trust levels in real time. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Serena He is a Tech Innovation Fellow from the University of Southern California who is interested in AI and the intersection of design and technology. She enjoys covering news across the digital identity and tech space.
Contact Serena He at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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