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IBM, MasterCard partner on big data service for small retailers
March 18, 2016 News

SINGAPORE — IBM and MasterCard on Wednesday morning signed a deal for a new service that aims to give small and midsize Asian retailers access to the power of big data and analytics.

The partnership combines IBM’s data analysis service Watson Analytics and MasterCard’s transaction data to help clients understand revenue trends, market share, customer demographics and customer behavior. Clients will also be able to track the aggregated performance metrics of their competitive set via anonymous basis.

The Web-based service is designed to help small players better manage their businesses, improve productivity and lower costs, according to Yashesh Kampani, head of financial services at IBM ASEAN.

“Merchants typically have access to a wealth of data but are overwhelmed by it if they don’t have the resources, knowledge or expertise to take advantage of it,” said MasterCard Advisors’ Pierre Burret at the signing ceremony. “We will make it possible for merchants to leverage data. That will turn big data to smart data.”

The service will initially be available in Singapore, starting in April. Any retailers who accept MasterCard can subscribe to it for a monthly or annual fee. The partners plan to gradually expand the service to the rest of Asia and world.

Singapore was chosen as the initial location because it “is a mature market, where a lot of data is available because of deep Internet penetration and deep [credit] card penetration,” Kampani told the Nikkei Asian Review.


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