MasterCard Inc. agreed to buy Applied Predictive Technologies Inc. for $600 million as it seeks to expand technology offerings for merchants.

Applied Predictive, based in Arlington, Va., uses cloud-based analytics to help clients measure marketing, merchandising and operations efforts, MasterCard said April 27 in a statement. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

As consumers globally replace cash and checks with electronic payments, deals among companies that process credit- and debit-card transactions are surging. MasterCard in November acquired 5one Marketing Ltd., a London-based retail consulting and analytics firm.

"Companies need analytics that are easy to use and drive action," Kevin Stanton, president of Purchase, N.Y.-based MasterCard's consulting unit, said in the statement. The purchase "will give our customers the advantage of enhanced and actionable decision making."

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