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MasterCard is Turning its Big Data Into Big Money

MasterCard

MasterCard, the world’s second-largest debit and credit card company, sees business booming from selling data to retailers, banks and governments on spending patterns found in the payments it processes, a top executive told Reuters. MasterCard, which handles payments for 2 billion cardholders and tens of millions of merchants, uses that information to generate real-time data on consumer trends, available more quickly that regular government statistics. “It is an incredibly fast growing area for us,” Ann Cairns, who heads MasterCard’s business outside North America, said in an interview, stressing that the company respects cardholder privacy, using anonymous data rather than personal information. MasterCard does not give figures for its information services products but “other revenues”, which include the sale of data, grew 22 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to $341 million, outpacing the growth of total revenue dominated by payments processing, which rose 14 percent to $2.177 billion.

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.