Card processor Pivotal Payments and data analytics vendor Womply are partnering to offer Pivotal Merchant Insights, which provides small businesses a way to analyze payments trends alongside their online and social media reputations.

"There is enormous potential that is inside the card transaction today, and that transaction data can tell a merchant a lot about their business," says Toby Scammell, co-founder and CEO of Womply, which sells its technology to processors, ISOs and merchant acquirers.  "We want to bring that data to life."

Pivotal, which has about 65,000 merchants, will offer Insights as a way for merchants to compare their performance with that of other local merchants.

"We want to help merchants get a grip on what's going on with their businesses," Scammell says.  "The measurements include not just revenue, but also factors such as how a merchant's online reputation is changing over time and how social media is impacting their business."

Insights' analytics tracks credit and debit card revenue, transactions and average purchase data as a way to inform marketing. The tools assess online reputation by examining the top sites consumers are using to discover businesses and rate their experiences. Social networking also plays a role—Insights tracks likes, followers, mentions, retweets, posts and comments.

"We may identify a problem with the merchant's customer retention. In that case we are analyzing that merchant's transaction data to determine why customers aren't coming back as frequently as in the past," Scammell says.

Businesses will also have the option of accessing Womply's Loyalty Cloud service, with uses data analysis to spot a merchants' most profitable customers, rank those customers based on their payments activity, and use the information to build special offers and loyalty programs targeted toward those consumers.

Womply also recently partnered with US Merchant Systems, an ISO with about 100,000 retail locations, to provide access to Womply's analytics tools. Womply is not alone in selling merchants and issuers on the benefits of leveraging the mountain of data produced by card transactions.

Chicago-based Arroweye recently launched CustomerConnect, an integrated technology that combines Arroweye's digital on-demand technology with consumer data to product marketing and messaging programs that are designed to match that consumer's lifestyle and interests. Issuers use existing data sources such as customer spending habits, demographics, purchase history and geographic locations or recent payments to produce marketing that is send directly to a card account, or printed on a card itself.

And payments marketing company edo launched edo Marketplace, a card-linked offers platform that allows merchants to build targeted campaigns, last month. Merchants access edo's marketing and data analysis tools to gain insight into consumer behavior, then develop offers linked to card payments by using edo's development tools.

"The [Pivotal/Womply] solution is important in that they are taking a bunch of social media data and integrating it into the merchant online reporting, and they are also allowing merchants to benchmark themselves against other merchants," says Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst at Aite Group. "Those two features are fairly unique in the merchant online reporting space. Overall, merchants still make their acquiring decisions largely based on price and acquirers are working hard to find new ways to differentiate themselves, Pivotal is taking a step in the right direction but they will be copied quickly."

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