Why the Equifax Acquisition of Kount is a Big Deal

Equifax has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Kount, a provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions, for $640 million. Global digital transformation has accelerated in the last year and customer interactions are being driven online in record numbers. An increase in online transactions has left businesses needing new ways to establish digital identity trust in real time and fight the growing problem of online fraud. They need to do all of this while reducing customer friction and making the online experience as smooth as possible for customers. 

Why is this Acquisition Important for Equifax?

This acquisition will expand the Equifax worldwide footprint in digital identity and fraud solutions, which helps businesses better engage with their customers while combating fraud. This is critical as more and more businesses go digital. With the completion of this deal, Equifax customers will have the ability to use the Kount Identity Trust Global Network - the industry’s leading risk-based authentication platform. 

“As digital migration accelerates, managing authentication and online fraud while optimizing the consumer’s experience has become one of our customers’ top challenges. 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,” said Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax.

“Equifax is taking advantage of our strong 2020 outperformance and cash generation to make this strategic acquisition. Our data and technology cloud investments  allow us  to quickly and aggressively integrate new data and analytics assets like Kount into our global capabilities and bring new market leading products and solutions to our customers.”

Why Kount?

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.

How Does this Deal Help Business and Consumers? 

According to Sid Singh, President of United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax, together the two companies “will leverage a powerful set of differentiated data assets and advanced analytics to deliver a high performance, integrated view of both digitally-native transactions and signals and traditional offline identity fraud risk indicators while maintaining privacy and security at the highest levels.”

Singh also shared that consumers can expect to see the benefits of this deal by having a high quality customer experience when they are looking for a loan from a bank or buying a car.  “We are enabling businesses across industries to establish strong digital identity trust behind every interaction while facilitating new forms of online engagement with current and prospective customers,” said Singh.

As e-commerce and consumer finance converge, the need to block fraud in real time and enable personalized customer experiences has never been more important. Both require establishing accurate trust levels in real time. With the Kount transaction expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, Equifax is charging out of the gate looking to continue its positive momentum from last year.