Credit card giant MasterCard has rolled out a new analytics offering that draws on purchase data to predict buying patterns. The company is offering that analysis to BlueKai, which can make it available to ad networks through its platform.
For the initiative, MasterCard is mining data from 34 billion annual transactions. The company then sifts through aggregated, anonymous data to figure out how that activity can predict people's propensity to make certain kinds of future purchases -- such as meals in restaurants.
MasterCard then shares that analytics data with BlueKai, which makes it available to ad networks. A MasterCard spokesperson tells Online Media Daily that the data is never attached to any particular Web users via cookies. The program is only available in the U.S.
MasterCard says that users can opt out of having data about their purchases mined for analytics.
The credit card giant launched the analytics program in February, but it didn't draw notice until this week, when a story about the initiative appeared in the Financial Times.
MasterCard also did a Web presentation last month, "Leveraging MasterCard Data Insights to Reach Holiday Shoppers," which offered more details about the program.
For example, Susan Grossman, senior vice president, media solutions, said during the presentation that MasterCard could run "propensity models" to determine the characteristics of people who are likely to make a home-improvement purchase within 30 days. "Once we've defined our audience, it can be applied to third-party consumer populations and on-boarded, making it available for sale on BlueKai," Grossman said.
A MasterCard spokesman added that an ad network could purchase that information through BlueKai to use in an ad campaign.