MasterCard bets on data

New tech from the payment co aims to give merchants better insights and improve loyalty programs.

MasterCard is building tech that can allow the company, and its partners and retailers, to use its data for more personalized loyalty offers.

The company’s Pay with Rewards program allows cardholders to redeem special offers or points at the point of sale, without having to go through the process of online redemption. They are instantly notified when they’re eligible through a corresponding app. The Card-linked Offers tech tracks transactions anonymously to give offers for frequently-visited retailers, and MasterCard Mobile Transaction Solutions aims to create more engaging mobile experiences by linking them to existing loyalty and e-commerce offerings.

What those offerings all mean when combined is the ability for a single merchant, through MasterCard, to be able to craft offers based on data compiled in other locations, and give consumers the ability to redeem them more simply and quickly than in the past, according to the brand.

Though Pay with Rewards was developed last year and the others tech offerings were built out from the capabilities of companies MasterCard has acquired in recent years, they’re are now being rolled out across the Canadian market. Last month, Rogers became the first company to issue a card (the Rogers Platinum MasterCard) that also leverages the credit card company’s Pay with Rewards technology.

Meanwhile, Card-linked Offers was behind the recently launched BMO Perks program, and Mobile Transaction Solutions powers Canadian Tire’s mPay & Play mobile payment app.

“It’s business as usual in terms of using innovation to provide new value to our partners and help them differentiate their products,” says Sasha Krstic, SVP and group head of global products and solutions at MasterCard. “But doing it in this way is new for us. Historically, we’ve used data to help issuers connect to their consumers more. We’re realizing there’s a significant need for the merchants to have access to data relevant to them as well.”

Krstic says MasterCard will soon be releasing research that predicts the way consumers and retailers will be interacting differently five years from now. The company’s recent focus on using data for more personalized loyalty programs is tied to the desire to move from “mass” to “me” in terms of the offers merchants create.

“That’s not a huge surprise, since we’ve seen that consumer demand for personalization, but what’s new is seeing that on the merchant side as well,” Krstic says. “They want to think of their customers, both online and in person, as relationships rather than targets. They don’t want to target them and get them to do something, they want them to come back and engage with their brand in multiple ways. The connection point between those things is data and how we use it together to make those connections.”

While MasterCard’s data is not personally identifiable or linked to any particular customer, by bringing data from multiple areas together, it can also give merchants insights to create a broader picture of overall consumer behaviour.

“Merchants already have a good idea of what customers are doing in their stores, but don’t know what they’re doing once they step outside of those walls,” Krstic says. “We can help build those data sets to link those two worlds so they can have a more robust view of their customer, and then create offers that connect to what they do everywhere, as opposed to just what’s happening in stores.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock