Mastercard is beefing up its transaction security and authentication capabilities in the age of connected devices, entering an agreement to acquire NuData Security, a Pay Award-winning provider of anti-fraud technology that uses session and biometric indicators to verify online transactions.
NuData’s flagship NuDetect service—winner of a 2016 Judges’ Choice Pay Award—analyzes “hundreds” of device, location, passive biometrics and behavioral signals to build an ongoing “digital identity” for a given user. The system uses that identity to authenticate valid users from potential fraudsters based on their online, mobile app and smartphone interactions, flagging those that represent the highest risk and enabling merchants and issuers to make near real-time authorization decisions.
Such protection is vital with the Internet of Things creating a boom in digitally connected devices. As many as 50 billion smart devices are projected to be in use across the globe by 2020, according to some experts. Mastercard will integrate NuData into its existing suite of fraud management and security products, which includes Device Intelligence, an AI-based fraud detection service that uses behavioral data to create risk profiles and enable real-time authentication decisions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The addition of NuData will build on our layered security strategy to safeguard each and every transaction across the globe,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “The combination of session and biometric information will provide even richer context around potential cyber and device-specific threats, enabling us to deliver even greater trust and peace of mind.”
Mastercard has made several previous forays into biometric authentication, including developing a pilot in 2015 that enabled e-commerce shoppers to authenticate purchases by taking a “selfie” or providing a fingerprint. Rival network Visa also has set its sights on biometrics and in November 2016 revealed it was working on a mobile app that would enable consumers to validate their identities using multiple biometric markers.
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