New partnership provides easy access to actionable market intelligence for merchants

SINGAPORE 16 March 2016 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) today announced their partnership to offer smaller merchants real-time, analytics-based market insights on revenue, market share, customer demographics and competitors in a particular location and across multiple locations. The solution integrates IBM Watson Analytics with insights based on aggregated and anonymized MasterCard transaction data through MasterCard Advisors Local Market Intelligence (LMI).

According to MasterCard’s latest research, more than 7 out of 10 smaller businesses in Asia Pacific expect higher business costs in 2016.  With this enhanced analytical platform powered by MasterCard Advisors and IBM, merchants will hence be better equipped to make informed decisions that lower costs based on a deeper knowledge of their business’ financial strengths and pitfalls.

Starting mid-2016, merchants who accept MasterCard will be able to access this new offering upon subscription.

Eric Schneider, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Advisors, said, “There is an increasing wealth of data today that merchants can leverage to better understand their market and consumers. However, smaller merchants often don’t have the resources to maximize the insights. That’s the value of this platform turning Big Data into smarter data that is easily accessible and actionable.”

“We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with MasterCard to help smaller merchants understand their business and competition better, and increase the strength and value of their customer relationships,” said Yashesh Kampani, Financial Services Sector Leader, IBM ASEAN. “Through this new service, merchants will discover just how easy leveraging Big Data can actually be with the analytical tools that IBM and MasterCard are making available.”

MasterCard Advisors’ LMI provides insights that help to drive some of the most important decisions a business can make about operations, marketing and personnel. It focuses on three key areas: business performance; customer behavior; and competitive standing.

The IBM Watson Analytics data discovery tool is designed to deliver cloud-based guided analytics, data visualization and predictive analytics without complexity. With its natural language-based cognitive abilities, Watson Analytics recommends starting points for the user to follow based on his questions and automatically serves up insights and visualizations that enable the user to discover new patterns in their data such as customer buying and behaviour trends, untapped campaign opportunities, and more.

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About IBM
IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world’s most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and non-profits.

Innovation is at the core of IBM’s strategy. Today, IBM is focused on five growth initiatives – Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security – in creating new markets and capturing new buyers. IBMers are working with customers around the world to build a smarter planet – by applying the company’s business consulting, technology and R&D expertise to develop systems that enable dynamic and efficient organisations, better transportation, safer food, cleaner water and healthier populations.

For more information on IBM, visit www.ibm.com/sg.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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Media Contacts:
IBM Singapore
Jean-Claire Rozario
DID: 6418 3723
Eemail: jeanroz@sg.ibm.com

MasterCard
Georgette Tan
DID: 6390 5971
Eemail: georgette.tan@mastercard.com

[1] This research is based on a survey done in December 2015 on 2,806 SME owners, co-owners or key decision makers in 7 countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore). There were roughly 400 survey participants per market.