American Express Co. said Thursday that it has agreed to purchase the security technology provider Accertify Inc.

The acquisition of the three-year-old company, expected to close in the fourth quarter, would give Amex a fraud management system that works across all major brands — Amex, Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and Discover Financial Services. It also works with alternative payment providers such as PayPal Inc., a unit of eBay Inc.

"Merchants are interested in fraud tools that cover every aspect of the payment process; and we're pleased that we will now be able to deliver an industry-leading solution to them," said Bill Glenn, the president of American Express Global Merchant Services, in a press release Thursday.

Amex agreed to pay about $150 million for Accertify, of Itasca, Ill., which it said would help it better serve its merchants.

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