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Capital One Acquires ATO Alert Company Confyrm

Capital One, one the largest card issuers in the United States, has acquired Confyrm, a technology startup focused on reducing account takeover by use of shared signals across different types of partners. For example, when a user account resets their password at a financial institution, the FI is warned that the email address associated with their account recently had a password change as well.

Confyrm was co-founded by three individuals in 2013, including CEO Andrew Nash who was previously Director of Identity Services at Google, Senior Director of Consumer Identity at PayPal and Director of Technologies at RSA. Beyond acquiring Confyrm’s partner platform and technology, Capital One also gains deep identity management and technology experience with Nash, who will join Capital One as VP of Consumer Identity Services.

Through partnerships with email providers, mobile operators and financial services companies, Confyrm amasses many signals and alerts organizations as well as consumers when their identity or accounts are at risk. Going back to the example of a financial institution considering a user that has initiated a password reset process, Confyrm could provide the signal that the account’s email address may have been taken over as the password was recently reset. If it is determined that it is likely account takeover, Confyrm can instantly initiate a process that warns the consumer directly (such as text alert), while other Confyrm partners and clients with user accounts tied to the same email address will receive notification or warning about those accounts.

The technology and platform fits well for a card issuing bank and likely puts it to real-world use more quickly. Confyrm had some pilot programs but had yet to fully launch. Nash said the acquisition by Capital One will help to “massively increase the set of consumers that we can help protect.”

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