By: 14 September 2021

Mastercard is boosting its card and real-time payments infrastructure, plus more

Mastercard swoops for CipherTrace and Aiia

Mastercard has announced two acquisitions this month, swooping for cryptocurrency intelligence company CipherTrace and Aiia, the European open banking technology provider. 

US-based CipherTrace helps customers, including banks, exchanges, and other financial institutions, enhance their security and fraud monitoring activities for crypto-related programmes, via coverage of more than 900 cryptocurrencies.

Mastercard will combine CipherTrace’s technology, AI and cyber capabilities with its own to boost its card and real-time payments infrastructure. 

CipherTrace will also help drive continued innovation with a diverse range of partners, such as other fintechs, crypto-wallet providers, and governments, while also Mastercard to deliver on the principles it has established for all blockchain-related programmes.

Commenting on the deal, Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, says: “Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient.”

“With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”

Dave Jevans, chief executive officer at CipherTrace, adds: “Our two companies share this vision to provide security and trust throughout the ecosystem. We are thrilled to join the Mastercard family to scale CipherTrace’s reach across the globe.”

The deal for Aiiaalso announced this month, adds a direct connection to banks via a single API to Mastercard’s capabilities.

Craig Vosburg, chief product officer at Mastercard, explains: “The value of open banking comes through empowering consumers and businesses to use their own data to obtain financial services solutions simply, securely and quickly. The addition of Aiia anchors our European open banking efforts and allows us to continue to meet our customers where they are.”

“As open banking continues to ignite innovation, we’re committed to providing a unique set of technology platforms, data connectivity and infrastructure combined with data privacy and security principles. This will help fintechs and financial institutions innovate, gather feedback and scale faster and more effectively than ever to power smarter, more meaningful experiences.”

Both acquisitions are being made for undisclosed sums and are expected to close by the end of this year.

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