IBM, MasterCard to offer big data platform for SMEs

SMB World Asia editors
SMB World Asia

IBM and MasterCard this week announced a partnership to give smaller merchants the chance to tap into the benefits of big data.

The partnership will give merchants the ability to access real-time, analytics-based market insights on revenue, market share, customer demographics and competitors in a particular location and across multiple locations.

Under the hood, the solution integrates IBM Watson Analytics with insights based on aggregated and anonymized MasterCard transaction data through MasterCard Advisors Local Market Intelligence (LMI). Designed to deliver business intelligence, LMI focuses on the key areas of business performance, customer behavior and competitive standing.

Ultimately, the enhanced analytical platform will equip merchants to make informed decisions that lower costs based on a deeper knowledge of their business’ financial strengths and pitfalls. The potential of being able to lower costs is significant, as MasterCard says that 7 out of 10 small businesses in the Asia Pacific have indicated in a recent study that they expect higher business costs in 2016.

“There is an increasing wealth of data today that merchants can leverage to better understand their market and consumers,” said Eric Schneider, senior vice president at MasterCard Advisors. “However, smaller merchants often don’t have the resources to maximize the insights. That’s the value of this platform turning Big Data into smarter data that is easily accessible and actionable.”

“We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with MasterCard to help smaller merchants understand their business and competition better, and increase the strength and value of their customer relationships,” said Yashesh Kampani, a financial services sector leader, IBM ASEAN.

“Through this new service, merchants will discover just how easy leveraging big data can actually be with the analytical tools that IBM and MasterCard are making available,” noted Kampani.

The solution is not available yet, though merchants who accept MasterCard will be able to subscribe to this offering starting from mid-2016. There is no pricing information at the moment.

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