Internet giant Google has plans to track credit and debit card sales in order to compare internet advertisement clicks with purchases made offline.
The new move would allow advertisers on Google to check if internet advertising campaigns are actually generating offline sales in shops and stores.
The search engine company introduced store visit measurements in 2014, using the location data on mobiles to track when people visited a store. Google confirmed that over five billion store visits have been measured by advertisers since introduction.
The company also confirmed that Google’s ‘third-party partnerships’ already capture approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions in America, but did not reveal who the partners were or how information was captured.
A separate monitoring product was also announced in a blogpost by Google, saying: ‘For the first time, Google Attribution makes it possible for every marketer to measure the impact of their marketing across devices and cross-channel – all in one place.’
Google services such as AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search have already enabled the company to build up huge amounts of data on internet users.
In addition, they can also gain location information from mobile phones, enabling them to see if consumers have gone to a shop or store to buy something they have seen advertised online.
The new Google service is currently limited to America and it is thought that the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation requiring online firms to get explicit consent from consumers about data use may block it from taking off in Europe.
Google users can opt out of the service by going to their ads setting page and unchecking the box that says: ‘Also use Google Account activity and information to personalise ads on these websites and apps and store that data in your Google Account’.
It is also possible to disable personalisation for all Google advertisements, and pause or delete location history.