Equifax to Tackle E-Commerce Fraud With $640 Million Kount Deal

Equifax Inc. agreed to acquire Kount Inc., which offers fraud protection for e-commerce retailers, for $640 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, Atlanta-based Equifax said in a statement Friday. Kount’s employees will continue to be based in Boise, Idaho, and will report to Equifax’s U.S. information-solutions unit.

The credit-reporting firm has been building out its identity- and fraud-protection business for existing customers, which includes many of the world’s largest banks and telecommunications companies. With Kount, the company will begin selling those same services to e-commerce sites.

“There’s been an explosion in the last three to four years of consumers doing everything online and that’s only accelerated during Covid,” Equifax Chief Executive Officer Mark Begor said in an interview. “What comes with that is the challenge of making sure that individual who’s trying to complete that transaction, apply for that credit card, buy that product online, is really that individual.”

Many of the world’s largest retailers have seen their fraud costs balloon in recent years as hackers have increasingly set their sights on using stolen credit-card information online. Kount’s software helps retailers catch those fraudsters as well as stop hackers from taking over customer accounts.

Equifax will also be able to use Kount’s data to help its existing customers manage fraud. Kount’s network uses data from more than 17 billion unique devices and 5 billion transactions annually made across 200 countries and territories, Equifax said in the statement.

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