Mastercard buys loyalty business that counts Coke and L'Oreal among clients

Acquisition is Mastercard's latest move to strengthen customer data capabilities.

Mastercard: wants to bolster customer data capabilities
Mastercard: wants to bolster customer data capabilities

Mastercard has acquired US loyalty technology company SessionM, whose clients include Coca-Cola, L'Oréal, Kimberly-Clark, Huggies and Chipotle, according to its clients, for an undisclosed sum as it looks to bolster its customer loyalty capabilities.

SessionM uses machine learning to assess customer data and then target shoppers with tailored promotions that drive customer engagement and loyalty.

"Using purchase and activity history as well as other latent factors, the SessionM platform is able to predict customer preferences that influence affinity, motivation and intent to purchase," the company's website states.

Announcing the acquisition, Mastercard said SessionM would enhance its ability to help brands around the world deliver personalised, real-time offers and comprehensive campaign measurement-based, data-driven insights. 

"Consumers’ expectations about their experiences with brands are changing," Francis Hondal, president, loyalty and engagement, at Mastercard, said. "We believe that the future of loyalty needs to be reimagined to enable seamless digital experiences and SessionM’s consumer-centric capabilities will help us broaden our value to marketers across sectors in exciting new ways."

Card companies have been looking increasingly at ways in which they can harness their wealth of customer purchase data over the past decade.

This is not the first time Mastercard has acquired a loyalty data company. In 2015, Mastercard purchased analytics company Applied Predictive Technologies, which offers brands the opportunity to test the impact of marketing and product decisions. 

Visa also enables advertisers to target ads and measure campaign performance via its Visa Ad Measurement suite of products, which de-identified and aggregates spend data, while American Express acquired marketing services and analytics company Loyalty Partner in 2010.