Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Ratings Site Mines Credit-Card Data

The site uses credit-card data in an effort to make a more reliable, objective measure of customer trust in a store or restaurant

By Charles Q. Choi
March 1, 2012

Amazon, Yelp and similar Web sites rely on customer reviews to help users with their purchases. A nagging concern of shoppers, however, is how reliable these critiques are.

Bundle, a New York City-based start-up, has turned to a source it deems more objective: credit-card data. Bundle receives data on credit-card transactions from Citi, one of its investors. The data are stripped of personal details, but every cardholder is tagged with a unique identifier so spending can be tracked. The data also retain demographic information such as salary, marital status and household size. Bundle then compares each transaction against a commercially available list of 15 million merchants that accept credit cards, which includes the merchants locations. The idea is "to see people putting money where their mouth is," says Bundle CEO Jaidev Shergill. The company tracks such information as how many repeat customers a business has, the amounts customers usually spend, what types of people go there, and what other places customers of an establishment frequent.


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