Fraud & Identity Fraud & Identity


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MasterCard Acquires NuData Security to Stop Fraudulent Activity

April 11, 2017

Preventing mobile fraud is an effort that requires support from everyone involved—the victim, operators, banks, credit card companies, etc. In order to successfully pull off mobile fraud, the criminals have to contact each of those entities separately. They have to get information about the victim (which the victim sometimes provides unknowingly), then they have to go to a physical phone store to change operators and port the stolen number. If their aim is to drain the victim’s bank account—either by going through the bank itself or by using credit cards online— then they have to make purchases or contact the bank using the stolen phone and information. It sounds like a complicated process, but it actually doesn’t take that long. All the fraudster really needs is some personal information, and they have access to a victim’s entire life.


Although there are a number of reasons this type of fraud is so easy to pull off, one of the main issues is the lack of communication between all the branches. Banks, credit card companies and mobile operators don’t have to communicate, which often lets suspicious activity go unchecked.

MasterCard is looking to change this fraud cycle by acquiring NuData Security, a global technology company that helps businesses prevent online and mobile fraud using session and biometric indicators. MasterCard plans to integrate NuData into its suite of fraud management and security products, with the hopes of strengthening its efforts around device-level security and authentication. This extra protection should enable real time collaboration between issuers, merchants and processors.

MasterCard decided to acquire NuData because it saw a need in the market for extra security measures and more communication. Fraudulent activity is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down, and the lack of communication between operators, banks and credit card companies isn’t helping the matter.

“Securing all payments today and tomorrow remains a top priority for MasterCard,” Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security for MasterCard, said in a statement. “The addition of NuData will build on our layered security strategy to safeguard each and every transaction across the globe. The combination of session and biometric information will provide even richer context around potential cyber and device-specific threats, enabling us to deliver even greater trust and peace of mind.”

Through MasterCard’s efforts, the company should find it easier to detect fraudulent activity. As a result, it can contact other outlets if suspicious activity arises. So, hypothetically, if Sally from Oklahoma suddenly buys an overly expensive item online in South Carolina using her MasterCard, the company would have reason to contact Sally’s mobile operator to see if she had changed carriers lately. If she had, and her number had been ported, there would be cause for further investigation. MasterCard could even put a temporary freeze on transactions until it determined whether or not they were fraudulent.

When companies like MasterCard start taking steps against fraud, the sky becomes the limit. There are several different types of companies involved in fraudulent activity, and they’re all victims of the situation. However, if they worked together, mobile identity fraud could become much easier to track and stop. 



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