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Equifax is to acquire digital fraud prevention network Kount for $640 million.

The result of a strong patent portfolio, the Kount Identity Trust Global Network uses AI to link trust and fraud data signals from 32 billion digital interactions, 17 billion unique devices, and five billion annual transactions across 200 countries and territories. It can be used by businesses to determines the level of trust for each identity behind every payment, account creation, and login event.

The US-based company has been getting traction in Eurupe as mechants brace for the arrival of new EU rules on strong customer authentication. The fraud module takes advantage of SCA-approved Transaction Risk Assessment (TRA) exemptions - which is where transactions are judged to be sufficiently genuine, and therefore allowed to skip the two-factor authentication process up to pre-agreed thresholds.

The firm scored its first major SCA-driven deal with Barclaycard Payments in June last year.

"As digital migration accelerates, managing authentication and online fraud while optimising the consumer's experience has become one of our customers' top challenges," says Mark Begor, CEO of 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."

Kount employees will join the Equifax USIS business unit and will continue to be based in Boise, Idaho. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

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