what if: you could create a credit card map of the city?

It’s sale time in Sydney.

Racks are ringing, escalators are heaving, and EFTPOS terminals are humming across the suburbs.

In the middle of buying a pair of shoes, I wondered what happens to all the credit card data that gets collected by the machines (665,054 of them, to be precise, crunching through 144.6 million transactions worth $ 9.8 billion AUD every month.)

Apparently, the company that administers the system is called EFTPOS Payments Australia, and is a consortium of major banks and retailers.

I’d really love to know what they do with all that data they’re sitting on.

Data about what transactions are happening where – which suburbs, which stores. Whether credit card is more popular than debit, or vice versa, in Woollahra, or Caringbah, or Oatley. What transactions are associated with what brands. Are Apple buyers more likely to purchase outright than Dell customers? How frequently are groceries bought on credit?

I’d love to see a map of the Sydney’s credit activity – with the hotspots picked out in red against a background of safe, financially sound black.

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