Mastercard Acquires Payments Fraud Firm Ethoca

Mastercard has announced they are acquiring the Toronto-based Ethoca, a provider of collaboration solutions that allows merchants and card issuers to work together to identify and resolve fraud issues in the digital payments space. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, Ethoca raised $45 million USD in 2015, and it was then that Crunchbase put a pre-money valuation of the company at $178 million. There will be no changes for employees, as they will continue to work out of their current location under the Ethoca brand.

The deal falls in line with Mastercard’s continued push to further protect their merchants from fraud through advanced management and security platforms. Ethoca allows e-commerce businesses to increase card acceptance and recover lost revenue, eliminating chargeback from fraud and customer service disputes. The company’s Ethoca Network works to close the information gap between card issuers and the merchants themselves. When both parties have more access to relevant details, it means solutions can be created and enacted in real-time.

Without a platform like Ethoca, card issuers and online merchants must make decisions in isolation regarding which transactions they may deem to be fradulent. By sharing information with one another, they are able to stay away from lost revenue and avoid the turbulent chargeback process, a process that often disconnects consumers from the e-commerce experience.

“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.”

Ethoca works with over 5,400 merchants in 40-plus countries, and powers eight of the top ten North American e-commerce brands. Mastercard will utilize this network and scale it to combine with their existing security activities and data insights. The overall goal is to reduce fraudulent purchases while also reducing false declines that may inhibit an online shopper from revisiting or trusting a particular brand.

“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.”