Mastercard makes an antifraud deal of its own 

Contact: Jordan McKee 

After December reaches by Visa and American Express for card-not-present (CNP) antifraud providers, Mastercard makes its move in this space. With the purchase of NuData Security, it gains digital identity and behavioral biometrics capabilities that will play an important role as EMV and growing transaction volumes continue to push fraud into digital channels.

A recent study of 500 US merchants by 451 Research underscored the severity of this problem, showing that 60% of respondents are experiencing an increase in fraudulent activity in their digital commerce channels compared with this time last year. This problem will only be exacerbated as the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads commerce into myriad new connected devices, increasing chargeback and data breach risks for merchants.

Given its scale and complexity, IoT presents a security threat an order of magnitude greater than anything the payments industry has previously experienced. Payment networks and their partners are increasingly being required to operate in foreign environments that differ greatly from traditional CNP channels, such as web browsers. The spread of commerce to new connected endpoints will require new technology, talent and security approaches to ensure that the integrity of the card issuance ecosystem remains intact.

While Mastercard has positioned its pickup of NuData as an IoT antifraud play – and could conceivably extend NuData’s technology into various IoT settings over time – we see near-term applicability to traditional CNP antifraud use cases. In particular, its work around digital identity and biometrics will help extend Mastercard’s security efforts from the network to the device, helping to combat the wave of fraud currently occurring in mobile and e-commerce. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. NuData had about 70 employees.

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