Mastercard’s new DM service highlights need to diversify

Credit card brands have been busying themselves promoting everything other than their core service of late.

Barclaycard entered the loyalty market with its Freedom initiative and has been exploring various different mobile contactless payment methods to make the lives of consumers that bit easier.

The latest diversification comes from Mastercard with its clumsily titled Advisors Merchant Solutions (AMS) service that catapults the brand into previously unchartered territory.

Mastercard, you see, is to use the data gleaned from customer transactions to help retailers better target customers. And as if that was not enough those benevolent souls will also use the data to execute direct marketing campaigns to its cardholders on behalf of retailers.

For credit card brands, diversification into marketing and data analytics appears to be such a no-brainer that it is a wonder that Mastercard and their like have not tried it before.

The intelligence that payment services firms can provide retailers at the coal-face should prove to be invaluable. Data on what, where, how and when consumers buy can help retailers determine why existing and prospective customers behave.

It is also a natural diversification for a firm that processes payments to throw the data back at retailers to their ultimate benefit.

Credit card brands would exist in a near opportunity cul-de-sac if operating exclusively in the payment market. Business to business opportunities are limited.

For retail direct marketers, Mastercard can offer the data, but can it offer the insight?

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketoonist on PowerPoint pitches

The Marketoonist

Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here Tom Fishburne will be speaking at the Festival of Marketing, which is taking place on 4 and 5 October at Tobacco Dock. To find out more information, including how to book tickets, visit […]


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here