What is a payment? It’s a transaction, sure. But much more importantly – to banks, merchants and credit card companies—it’s a story in a particular moment in time. A Tiffany’s purchase could signify a major life change. A sudden influx of Toys ‘r’ Us purchases might suggest another. A daily Costa payment gives away a favourite addiction. A single 9am payment at McDonald’s amidst a sea of Whole Foods payments could tell you that there was big night the preceding day.
‘Hard to get that complete story’
Compile the details of all those stories and you have a fairly comprehensive picture of your customer. Collectively, they are invaluable data points for credit card companies, banks or merchants. But it’s hard to get that complete story. Rarely does one party have sufficient data to paint a truly rich, three-dimensional picture of their consumer. Those data points might be spread between cards from various banks, issuers, department stores or prepaid program managers. To create a holistic picture, a one entity historically has had to buy data from others to flesh out the details.
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