MasterCard buys predictive analytics provider APT for US$600m

Payments company says the deal will strengthen its professional services business by providing customers with access to big data analytics capabilities

Payments giant, MasterCard, is beefing up its predictive analytics capabilities by purchasing Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) for US$600 million this week.

APT is a cloud-based, big data analytics provider whose flagship Test & Learn platform aims to help organisations design, measure and optimise marketing, merchandising, operations and capital initiatives using analytics.

In a statement, MasterCard said the purchase will advance its ability to deliver differentiated services to merchants and complements its recent acquisition of London-based retail consulting and analytics company, 5One. APT will remain a separate division but will gain access to the payments company’s analytics suite, consulting capabilities and marketing services globally.

“In today’s competitive business climate, companies need analytics that are easy to use and drive action,” said Kevin Stanton, the president of MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of the business.

“APT’s world-class talent, technology and Test & Learn platform, matched with MasterCard’s analytics, will give our customers the advantage of enhanced and actionable decision marking.”

Related: CES 2015: MasterCard, Microsoft marketers debate data versus creativity

APT’s CEO, Anthony Bruce, said the company was thrilled to be joining the MasterCard group.

“MasterCard is uniquely positioned, with its corporate footprint and analytics expertise, to help us expand our business, work with even more clients around the globe and evolving our product capabilities,” he said.

The acquisition is set to close by the end of Q2 and is subject to customary purchase price adjustments and conditions.

APT was founded in 1999 and has offices in the US, UK, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. Its customer base includes Hilton Worldwide, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, Target, KFC and McDonalds.

Australian banking group, NAB, licenced APT’s Test & Learn software last December to test key initiatives within its business banking, wealth management and personal banking divisions.

At the time, its general manager of customer analytics and research, Gautam Bose, said it had already been conducting high-value tests in banker activities, lead prioritisation, training programs and specialist allocation and was excited to be extending its application of the platform across the whole organisation.

“Test & Learn means NAB can take our analysis to new levels of accuracy and robustness in terms of gaining a greater understanding of the true impact of new programs and initiatives,” he stated.

In a blog discussing the significance of the news, US-based investment research group, Zachs, saw the deal as accelerating MasterCard’s core processing capabilities in the ever-more complex payments space.

“Moreover, given the challenging regulatory and operating environment within MasterCard’s core card business, diversification into ancillary services, while also offering a secure digital payment experience, appears to be a good investment idea to brighten long-term growth prospects,” the Zach analyst team stated.

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