MasterCard Launches Business From Data Warehouse - InformationWeek

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MasterCard Launches Business From Data Warehouse

MasterCard International Inc. is launching a new company this week that will use MasterCard's huge warehouse of credit-card transaction data to sell information on consumer buying to retailers. Transactional Data Solutions, a joint venture of MasterCard and market-research firm Symmetrical Resources Inc., plans to offer its first service, Merchant Advisor, in the first quarter. Merchant Advisor will provide aggregate consumer buying information based on credit-card transactions and other data. But the reports won't include customer-specific information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and E-mail addresses, says Bill Engel, CEO of the new company and former chairman and CEO of Symmetrical.

The service is designed to help retailers boost sales and lure customers with more effective advertising and marketing. It compares retailers' performance with competitors over a given period and in different stores. Age, income, buying habits, and other customer data will be provided in clusters, such as women aged 35 to 45 with incomes of $80,000 to $100,000. With data from Symmetrical, the reports will also tell retailers which media sources the shoppers tend to see.

Merchant Advisor reports will draw on data from MasterCard's 7-terabyte Oracle data warehouse in St. Louis, as well as from other sources. Reports will be provided quarterly for $75,000 to $150,000 a year, depending on the size of the retailer. Monthly reports will be available beginning in 2000. National and local versions of the service will be available for apparel, automotive, grocery, home furnishing, and other types of stores.

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