MasterCard is stepping up its interest in transactional big data, forming a partnership with, and acquiring a stake in, analytics firm Mu Sigma. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Mu Sigma employs around 2500 'decision science professionals' serving companies in industries such as financial services, insurance and healthcare.
The partnership will see MasterCard Advisors' aggregated and anonymous purchase behaviour insights combined with Mu Sigma's analytics to develop products that help firms acquire and keep customers.
Gary Kearns, EVP, information services, MasterCard Advisors, says: "The data analytics market is rapidly growing as customers seek real time insight allowing them to better connect with their consumers through highly relevant products, offers and services."
Companies are increasingly looking to mine the ever-growing mountain of consumer data available to them, a fact that new player ERN is also hoping to take advantage of with the imminent launch of its Looop platform.
However, there are dangers associated with handling customer information, as MasterCard discovered last Autumn when it faced a barrage of negative headlines about its plans to sell card transaction data to large retailers and corporations.