How MasterCard Could Make Big Money from Your Spending Data

How MasterCard Could Make Big Money from Your Spending Data

June 18, 2014         Written By Bill Hardekopf

MasterCard is expected to see a huge boost in its profit margins by selling data about cardholder spending patterns to banks, retailers and government agencies across the country.

MasterCard handles payments for more than two billion cardholders and merchants, and it could deliver real-time data on consumer trends for those willing to pay the price.

The advantage MasterCard has over standard government data is its delivery time. Stores and banks can uncover what they want to see right when it happens so they can adjust their strategies.

“Retailers are fantastic at using the data they have available about how people shop in their store, how their inventory turns over, but what they don’t know is what happens outside their store,” Ann Cairns of MasterCard told Reuters. “The data we’ve got is ubiquitous across the whole market. We can help retailers see what they need to do to capture more sales.”

It is this promise to “capture more sales” that has retailers and banks lining up for a chance to purchase data from MasterCard. The company does not release any information about specific cardholders, but they may offer information for specific demographics as a whole.

MasterCard has not officially released information about the profits they have yielded from “big data” sales, but the company’s “other revenues”–which include data sales–grew 22% in the first quarter of 2014.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 18, 2014. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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