MasterCard is adding SumAll's data tools to the card network's Simplify Commerce platform in an effort to provide small merchants with options that might otherwise be out of their reach.

"Small businesses don't have engineers and analysts, and they don't get to view data in an easy manner," says Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll.

Many businesses, particularly smaller merchants, still don't have a complete picture of how to properly use mobile, Web, social media and other channels to accept payments and sell products, Atkinson says. "The information can be hard to get at."

Together, SumAll and MasterCard will allow merchants to view trends in payments data that reveal how consumers are engaging with the merchant and how consumers are changing their payment habits. SumAll connects payments data to real-time correlations—measuring e-commerce, revenue, digital marketing, social media and Web activities.

"Merchants want to know more about 'big data,'" says Brian Riley, a research director with TowerGroup. "And smaller merchants don't always know what to look for, and they often don't have the staff."

SumAll makes the data available through a real-time data dashboard, and integrates Simplify Commerce and other payments activity in one location, instead of listing it separately for each channel.

"You can see a spike in social networking use, and how payments from PayPal or another source may have changed during that spike, and how the merchant's revenue changed at the same time," Atkinson says.

That information can be used to optimize marketing fine-tune a payment option, Kinson says.

"It's a significant benefit to be able to get data out of a processor and see material gains—to see if this or that refund worked," he says  "You can know quickly if a certain type of payment or reward program, or a payment channel is performing successfully. Or you can have a picture of what may work in terms of an offer."

There is no fee to connect Simplify Commerce to SumAll, says Deb Barta, product owner for Simplify Commerce at MasterCard Labs, in an email. "We are always looking for ways to make accepting electronic payments easier—and partnerships are one way we do so."

MasterCard also offers application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) for developers to include Simplify Commerce in their offerings to merchants. The software tools are available in a number of programming languages, including Python, Java and Ruby. In addition, MasterCard offers SDKs for the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

"MasterCard's vision is a 'world beyond cash.' Simplify Commerce supports that goal by helping to shift from less secure payment options like cash and checks to electronic payments," Barta says. "We believe there's a tremendous opportunity for merchants to take advantage of this easy and economical approach to online payments acceptance."

Other companies are also approaching merchants with advanced data management tools. Tranzlogic LLC is targeting independent sales organizations to scale its customer intelligence and marketing strategy more quickly than it could by selling directly to end users. Womply also works with ISOs.

"The card industry produces so much raw data, that to harness it you need deeper analytical tools," Riley says. 

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