MasterCard Tracks Online Shoppers

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Online shoppers may find themselves tempted to overspend by the very company that processes their credit card transactions.

MasterCard (Stock Quote: MA) is tracking some of its users’ buying habits at its own online store in order to suggest more purchases to be charged on its cards, notes the Consumerist.  This seems to suggest that the company is following in the footsteps of more traditional online retailers like Amazon (Stock Quote: AMZN), which frequently recommends specific purchases to customers.

Credit card companies have long been tracking consumers’ spending habits to determine credit worthiness and whether to cut credit limits. But MasterCard, which processes transactions as opposed to offering credit itself, is reportedly using special software on its new retail site.

The software, from developer Next Jump, aims to predict customers’ next likely purchases, and promises to convert about one in every 11 people browsing the site into actual buyers, The New York Times reports.

That’s a move that appears to encourage credit card use after it has declined dramatically.  Consumer credit card use fell 13% in the past year, according to TheStreet.com, MainStreet’s stock market-focused sister site.

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