Google has a new service for marketers where it will provide information to advertisers on card purchases in physical stores and link them to an online profile of the user. The company mentioned that it has third-party partnerships, which can capture approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the United States.

However, Google did not furnish more details on how the new service works or what it is analyzing records of debit and credit cards, as indicated by this Washington Post report. The publication added that the company has developed “a new, custom encryption technology that ensures users’ data remains private, secure, and anonymous.” Google’s algorithms will mask people’s names, purchase information, timestamp, and location into anonymous strings of numbers, MIT Technology Review said.

Note that Google has been able to track location for years through Google Maps and in 2014, it started a marketing service where it told advertisers information on how often people visit a store. The latest tool is blurring the line between the physical and online world.

This will allow marketers to measure in-store revenue along with store visits which were thrown up by  Search results and Shopping ads. If a business collects email information at the point of sale for their loyalty programme, the business can add transactions into Google AdWords or through a third-party partner to show more targeted advertising.

YES Bank-Cashkaro tie-up 

Note that in India, private sector lender YES Bank partnered with cashback and coupon site Cashkaro which does something similar to what Google is attempting.

Through the partnership, YES Bank will send card customers personalized offers and targeted deals based on their shopping patterns. YES Bank builds the profile of a customer for marketing while Cashkaro does the initial targeting where retailers can set parameters on what kind of demographic they would like to attract. The parameters can include age, location, spending patterns, etc. YES Bank will send promotions to cards/customers which match the parameters.