MasterCard to sell card use data to retailers

Posted by Jessica Searle in Personal Finance on 1 March 2013 - Jessica worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2013

As larger commercial businesses are looking to diversify in an ever-competitive business market, MasterCard has recently realised the opportunities available with the data it can collate through your use of its cards.

A division of the company, MasterCard Advisor (MA), has announced a new partnership with analytics firm Mu Sigma. It aims to provide a combination of MA's aggregated and anonymous purchase behaviour and Mu Sigma's analytical expertise to companies in the retail market.

Retailers are able to search their own records to understand what their customers buy, but are currently unable to predict the customers overall shopping habits. With 1.8 billion people using MasterCards in over 34 million stores worldwide, it is this gap in the information market which this partnership aims to fill – a market already estimated to be worth around $5 billion.

“The data analytics market is rapidly growing as customers seek real time insight allowing them to better connect with their consumers through highly relevant products, offers and services,” says Gary Kearns, Executive Vice President, Information Services for MasterCard Advisors. “We went through an extensive process to choose the right partner and Mu Sigma’s innovation labs and capabilities make them stand out as best-in-class in this field. By combining MasterCard Advisors’ purchase behaviour insights with Mu Sigma’s expertise we will be able to drive faster innovations in data analytics solutions and deliver them on a broader scale, globally.”

MasterCard has confirmed, for the benefit of all of us data-protection fanatics, that the information to be sold will not contain any personal information, but instead will be an anonymous report and insight into the buying habits of its customers.

Products include benchmarking reports (how is my business performing compared to other merchants?), and analytics (how can I better understand what my customers might want to purchase?), for which there is no need for transaction details to be included.

Information can also be sector specific, for example the statistics each week regarding the sales of women’s clothing can help a retailer to benchmark its performance, and what products will sell well, or not so well.

Gary Kearns has described part of the service as giving a large retailer the ability “to understand, at an aggregated and anonymous level, what its customers do before and after they shop there. This large retailer would then be able to offer its customers certain incentives to come to its store and spend more on the items that they may have purchased before and after visiting them.”

The information available to be purchased by companies will not contain any personal information.. It will also not specify any purchases you make as an individual.

It will instead be aggregation of information from many consumers. If the product is one you already consume you might be able to obtain a better deal, or alternatively you can always say 'no'.

The end release of data is ultimately very general in nature and can have positive effects for both the company and customers alike.

MasterCard will simply by 'recycling' the information it already gathers when you utilise one of its products, although it can be assumed that many campaigners will still not agree with this point of view.

Jessica Searle is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile and has a degree in English Literature from the University of Exeter. You can contact her at jessica.searle@checkmyfile.com

How interest rates are calculated

If you’ve ever applied for a form of credit, you may well have discovered to your cost that the advertised APR and the interest rate you’re offered if you are accepted can be very different things.

Published on 14 Jun 2019 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

The Importance of Proving Stability to Lenders

In addition to the key roles that your Credit History and Affordability play in determining whether or not you will be accepted for credit, we regularly talk about the importance of being able to demonstrate your ‘stability’ to potential lenders.

Published on 15 Mar 2019 by Sophie Regester

Full Article

If I Change My Name Can I Still Get Credit?

Legally changing your name is an increasingly popular thing to do in the UK: while getting married or divorced still makes up a large proportion of this, there is a growing trend towards people changing their name following civil partnerships, a change in gender, living in blended families, or simply because they’re seeking a change – the list is long.

Published on 22 Feb 2019 by Tom Magor

Full Article

Which Credit Report Information Can Landlords See

These days whenever you rent a property you may be required to pass checks set by the landlord or letting agent to prove that you will be a good tenant and that you’ll be able to reliably make rent payments to the property on time.

Published on 7 Feb 2019 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

What Credit Checks Look For When You Switch Energy

As we get deeper into Winter, it’s inevitable that millions of consumers across the UK will end up using more energy and spending more on bills due to the colder weather and long stretches of darkness.

Published on 9 Jan 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Pros and cons of going paperless

Whether you are environmentally motivated or simply to get a discount for moving your billing online, you might find it makes sense to abandon paper for your business, if you haven’t already.

Published on 7 Dec 2018 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

How To Get The Best Car Finance Deals

New car sales may have slowed in recent years, with the economy, emissions scandals and Millennials all being cited as the root cause at one point or another. But the number of people choosing to use credit as a means of driving away in a new car continues to rise, according to figures from the Finance & Leasing Association which shows that the new car finance market grew by 15% in July 2018 when compared to the previous year.

Published on 8 Oct 2018 by Kiah Phillips

Full Article

We're Now More Likely To Be Borrowers Than Savers

UK Households are now more likely to be borrowers than savers, with savings at their lowest since 1963, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics. Households are increasingly borrowing more – by taking out loans, car finance, and mortgages – than they are collectively depositing into savings accounts.

Published on 5 Oct 2018 by Sam Griffin

Full Article

The Credit Crunch 10 Years On: What’s Changed?

For many people, especially the those lucky enough to not have been old enough to be directly affected, the economic downturn of 2007-2009 seems like a distant memory. The first iPhone had launched a mere two months before the recession hit, and since then they’ve rebooted the Spiderman film franchise not once, but twice. But more importantly, has enough time passed for the borrowing/lending market to revert to its old tricks?

Published on 26 Sep 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

The Limitation Act 1980 and Debt Time limits

The majority of credit consumers believe that once a debt has been acquired, that debt will remain until the full balance has been cleared regardless of the length of time passed. This may not be the case though, thanks to a little-known piece of legislation known as the Limitation Act 1980.

Published on 19 Sep 2018 by Erika Bone

Full Article
keyboard_arrow_left

keyboard_arrow_right

We are rated number 1 for customer service on