Visa Europe Invests In Data Analytics Firm To Boost Loyalty Programs

Visa Europe plans to develop more loyalty programs for card issuers and merchants through its investment in data-analytics firm Beyond Analysis, the company announced Nov. 15.

United Kingdom-based Beyond Analysis analyzes consumer behavior at retail stores and helps retailers generate strategies to improve sales. Its customers include major grocery-store chains and other retailers.

Through its undisclosed investment in Beyond Analysis, Visa Europe is turning its attention to transaction analytics, particularly where it can help banks and merchants offer relevant shopping deals to cardholders.

“What we do is use that data to deliver insight to merchants and banks to help them improve their business and drive offers to change consumer behavior,” Crispin Rogers, Visa Europe senior vice president of loyalty and merchant analytics, tells PaymentsSource.

Visa Europe is ramping up its loyalty business, starting with the launch of Simply Rewards with Nationwide Building Society, he says.

The loyalty platform uses Beyond Analysis’ data to help client issuers in Europe to determine which retailers they should feature in their programs and which customers they should target, says Rogers.

“We’re moving from offering the ‘right customer, right channel’ [strategy] to more of a ‘right time, right place’ offer,” Rogers says.

Mobile applications give banks direct access to consumers to provide deals where and when they need them, he says. “Our vision of the future of payments is mobile payments through Near Field Communication, e-wallets and loyalty,” Rogers says.

Analysts have lauded plans to tie loyalty and payment programs with mobile phones (see story).

Visa Europe will tie its investment in Beyond Analysis with the launch of the Samsung Olympic-themed smart phone announced in March, likely linking the phone to a loyalty program, Rogers says, unable to provide details.

Unlike Visa Inc., Visa Europe remains a not-for-profit association of over 4,000 banks. It processes 11 billion transactions per year initiated with 400 million cards in 36 countries, according to Rogers.

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