Macro-data accumulated through analysing global card transactions creates patterns and predictions that “influence every part of our lives”, according to Anne Cairns, Mastercard’s president of International Markets.
Writing in the Guardian, Cairns explains how, by tracking real-time payments made by two billion cardholders in 210 countries, Mastercard cis able to compile data on spending patterns and behavioural shifts far faster than government statistics.
“One of the fastest growing areas of our business is how we use aggregated data on spending patterns found in the payments we process to help our partners and customers build more relevant and tailored solutions, products and experiences,” she wrote.
“For businesses, who excel at capturing and analysing their own customer data, our macro-level data insights applied to their data can illustrate what happens next, outside of their company, across the market.”
Rather than relying on market predictions, the use of big data to respond quickly to customer behaviour means that businesses can work out how to present their products and alter their order patterns so that they don’t get caught out. This, suggests Cairns, is a good thing both for companies and their customers. But, she says, it also has the potential to improve public services and access to finance.
“I believe big data has the potential to transform people’s lives for good globally and the capability to drive social change, supporting transformational innovation and growth in developing countries,” she said.
“There is a need to drive financial inclusion across the world and data can play a part in making a real difference, the opportunity is there for the taking we just need to embrace the change.”