ERN Raises $2M For Its Big Data Play Aimed At Banks And Merchants Who Want To Profit From Customer Loyalty

Another day, another BIG DATA play. UK-based ERN, a Big Data startup targeting banks and merchants who want to create customer loyalty-based offers, has announced that it’s raised a $2 million funding round. Interestingly, it’s keeping schtum on exactly who is backing the company, except to describe the list of 20 or so investors as “high net worth individuals with backgrounds in the banking, payments and technology sectors”.

ERN says the new capital is to be used to continue development of its “scalable, reliable and secure big data platform” which enables banks and merchants to analyse customer behaviour on a “micro and macro scale”.

The benefit of all this Big Data drilling is that banks and merchants can boost customer loyalty by creating new products and offers based on the analysis of their transactions. For banks, that could mean analysing customers’ transactional history to provide them with individually-tailored offers in partnership with merchants. Meanwhile, for merchants themselves, they can use ERN’s offering to get a handle on individual customers’ purchasing behaviour to create loyalty-based offers, and these can even be targeted based on location and time.

There’s a consumer-facing side to ERN, too. Through a smartphone app, consumers will be able to track spending on their credit and debit cards in “real-time”. The pull being that they can budget more effectively — the trojan horse needed to push those enticing loyalty-based offers.

ERN’s platform is fully PCI and ISO 27001 compliant and is said to be capable of processing 100,000 transactions per-second. The company is also talking up its secure Tier 4 Global data centres with “Bank Grade Security” in the UK, US and Singapore.

In terms of traction, it’s still very early days for ERN. The startup says it’s currently working towards proof of concept trials with a number of high street banks, acquirers and major retailers in the UK, with a launch due in early 2013.