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Equifax today announced that it would pay $640 million to acquire Kount, a company that uses artificial intelligence to drive its fraud prevention and digital identity services. In a press release, Equifax executives said the deal would allow the company to further expand into these markets.
Kount uses AI to analyze 32 billion transactions across 17 billion devices. As the system builds its intelligence, it is shifting from only analysis to predictive modes with the goal of helping companies prevent digital fraud.
“As digital migration accelerates, managing authentication and online fraud while optimizing the consumer’s experience has become one of our customers’ top challenges,” Equifax CEO Mark Begor said in a statement. “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.”
Founded in 2007, Kount is representative of the hopes enterprises have that AI and machine learning can be used to help scale defenses to meet the rising resources behind cyberattacks.
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In this case, Kount’s AI determines the trustworthiness of any identity used to create an account, attempt to log in, or make a payment. It allows businesses to fine-tune the level of trust in their systems and select the percentage of transactions that are blocked and transferred to customer service.
The goal is to lower that percentage by accelerating the rate of transactions approved while still minimizing fraud and chargebacks. Equifax said Kount products would eventually become part of its own Luminate fraud platform.
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