Google to track credit card purchases in physical stores

"Google - and also Facebook - believe that to get digital dollars from advertisers who are still primarily spending on TV, they need to prove that digital works", said Amit Jain, chief executive of Bridg, a start-up that matches online and offline behavior.

Fox & Friends did a segment on Thursday morning about Google's methods for tracking your shopping habits both online and in physical stores.

Google plans to verify every single product you will buy for the rest of your life and the tech giant already sealed a partnership that most likely will spark numerous controversies.

Tuesday's announcement gives Google a clearer way to understand purchases than just location and allows it to understand purchase activity even when consumers deactivate location tracking on their smartphones.

Google sells advertising all over the place.

Google wants to flex their muscles in the markets and wants to show that they still are the leaders when it comes to advertising online.

As the Post explains, Google has partnered with undisclosed companies that collect credit and debit card information. It seems like a fair assumption that 70 percent of credit and debit card transactions in the USA don't end with a cashier asking a customer whether they mind if their information is logged, matched with their browser and location history, anonymized, and sent to advertisers.

For marketers that do qualify, transactions will be matched back to their Google ads "in a secure and privacy-safe way, and only report on aggregated and anonymized store sales to protect your customer data", Ramaswamy noted.

Over the past few months the advertisers have been rather skeptical of the actual returns they are getting from advertising online. Specifically, for the US, Google estimates it can capture "approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions" through those partnerships.

At this point, online advertisers don't have the required data to link with your transactions. The company has managed to become one of the world's largest by offering great services for free to its users, with the caveat of anonymously processing all their data to later leverage for the objective of selling advertising. They had no way of knowing if a consumer that clicked on their ad went to a store to buy the product, but now they do.

Google also announced the launch of local ad inventories for retailers to promote special offers and show latest updates from nearby stores.

The Mountain View, California, company already runs the world's biggest online ad network, one that raked in $79 billion in revenue past year. Therefore, the program can possibly influence merchants to further their digital marketing budgets.

Google says, "It won't be able to examine the specific items purchased or how much a specific individual spent", according to the AP News. Is this wonderful or is it somewhat scary when you think about it? Google is working to move past an advertising boycott of YouTube, its lucrative video site, after news reports that ads for mainstream brands were appearing alongside extremist content, including sites featuring hate speech and violence.

Micro Copic, who is a marketing professor at San Diego University, warns that the type of data Google is collecting could become a target for hackers.

  • Zachary Reyes