MasterCard Incorporated (MA) entered into a partnership with shopkick, a major shopping application, to enhance benefits for its customers by enabling them to earn valuable rewards and special offers on purchases made at participating retailers across the U.S. The official announcement of the tie up was made yesterday. Per the agreement, customers will earn "kicks" -- a reward currency -- on making purchases via shopkick's Buy & Collect program. Also, cardholders can earn 250 bonus kicks for every MasterCard that will be connected to the Buy & Collect program for a limited period at the onset of the partnership. Customers can redeem these points to buy presents or movie tickets, download music etc.

In an effort to woo its customers with good deals and the convenience of "in-store shopping," MasterCard will deploy its best tools and analytics. It will also assist the merchants in increasing sales and simultaneously measure the efficiency of their "location-based" marketing skills. The company's partners and other retailers can also benefit from this alliance going forward.

MasterCard remains focused on the requirements of its customers and continue to add value amid a challenging economic environment through its array of products that are user-friendly and flexible. It currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We retain our long-term Neutral recommendation on its shares.

Keeping pace with MasterCard, Visa, Inc. V), its closest competitor is also expanding its services in every possible way. Recently, it entered into a strategic alliance with DirectCash, a provider of white label ATMs in Canada to provide its cardholders the convenience of secure and fast access to funds during their travel to Canada.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Tickers in this Article: MA, V

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