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Visa Rolls Out Tech To Share More Data on Customers’ Shopping History With Retailers

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Visa, one of the world’s two largest payment card services, is launching new, proprietary technology that will allow it to give retailers even more data collected from its customers.

The move is seen as Visa working hard to keep up competing with the other giant – Mastercard – but also, fintech firms like Plaid.

The latter’s business, in terms of Visa considering it a rival, is revealing: it’s to power fintech and associated products with a data transfer network – specifically, a platform that “enables applications to connect with [a] user’s bank account.”

Visa’s “fear of missing out” on another lucrative personal data and customer behavior-based money grab is taking the form of “tokens” which allow banks and merchants to communicate so that banks can share customer data that offers insight into their preferences based on past transactions.

Reports say that this requires customers’ consent – but then also quote Visa Chief Executive Officer Ryan McInerney as saying, “It’s almost entirely blind to almost all consumers. They just know their payments work better.”

McInerney came up with a brand new way to phrase “opt-out” – he said the tokens come with consent “as the foundational premise.” The visa exec brazenly referred to this as “putting [the] customer in control”:

“Consumers will have the option, through their bank app, to revoke access to their information.”

Visa’s clearly banking – pun intended – on their customers accepting a “mirrors for gold” type of deal – giving up their valuable and sensitive personal information opted-in by default, while poorly if at all aware of its worth, in exchange for a “shiny object” – in this case, a little more convenience.

And while this angle may at this point be lost on most people, Visa and its ilk seem to be counting on just that.

“Better shopping experience” is how Visa phrases it. Some type of AI (one ventures to guess, machine learning) is involved in the closed-source software now rolled out that has access to huge personal information datasets of the kind Visa has.

Visa users might like to know that the “new sharing of shopping data through tokens” will debut as a pilot at an as yet unspecified date “later this year.”

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