MasterCard online mall uses card data

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Bob Moon: Our credit cards know a lot about us, enough now to build a customized mall around what we buy. The MasterCard MarketPlace is open for business, and launching a big marketing campaign Monday. It's a virtual, online mall, specifically tailored to you.

Stacey Vanek-Smith has more.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: MasterCard MarketPlace gives card holders access to deals on everything from Omaha steaks to Bose speakers.

Joshua Peirez: This is the Match.com for purchases.

MasterCard's Joshua Peirez says the card company gives retailers information on its customers. The retailers use that information to tailor offers to shoppers.

Peirez: Any retailer can go into our system and decide who they want to show a particular offer to.

So a company could market an "Avatar" video game to someone who'd pre-ordered the DVD. MasterCard launched the store with a company called Next Jump.

Banking products analyst Ron Shevlin says Next Jump works with employers and has a cache of information all its own.

Ron Shevlin: They have job title and position and what your income levels are probably. Then they also collect preference data from the employees themselves around what their price points are.

That's a lot of your information concentrated into one sales machine. But this really isn't about you, says Shevlin. He thinks the MasterCard MarketPlace has more to do with making nice with merchants. They've been complaining about the fees they have to pay credit card companies every time you use your card.

Shevlin: Retailers are making a lot of noise about high interchange fees. And one of the ways that card issuers can help diffuse that a little bit is by demonstrating how they are able to drive more business and profit to the retailers.

Card companies currently get about 20 percent of their revenue from merchant fees.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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