Mastercard has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Ethoca, a global provider of technology solutions that help identify and resolve fraud in digital commerce.

“Ethoca is a strong addition to our multilayered cyber strategy, helping customers take immediate action against fraud.”

“Advancements in technology are enabling us to transform the experience for our customers,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard. “Ethoca is a strong addition to our multilayered cyber strategy, helping customers take immediate action against fraud and eliminate chargebacks before they can occur. In turn, consumers are provided with a better checkout experience every time they shop at a participating site.”

The Ethoca network brings together more than 5,000 merchants and 4,000 financial institutions from around the world. When a fraudulent transaction is identified, near real-time information is sent to the merchant so they can confirm the transaction, stop delivery, or reverse the transaction to avoid the chargeback process. As a result, both merchants and card issuers benefit from lower operational costs by reducing fraud at the source, according to the company.

Mastercard stated that it intends to further scale these capabilities. It also plans to combine Ethoca with its current security activities, data insights, and artificial intelligence solutions with the goal of helping merchants and card issuers more easily identify and stop potentially fraudulent purchases and false declines.

“Mastercard is a natural home for Ethoca,” said Andre Edelbrock, CEO of Ethoca. “For more than a decade, we’ve connected e-commerce businesses with banks to make the payments system simpler and more secure. We are excited to have the opportunity to bring our services to more places and people, ultimately contributing to the best possible online payment experience.”

According to a Mastercard spokesperson, the company has been expanding its security-focused acquisitions in recent years. It also acquired NuData in 2017, a Vancouver-based biometrics and behavioral analytics company looking to help organizations form digital trust with consumers by identifying users based on online interactions.

Terms of the Ethoca agreement were not disclosed and the transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2019.

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