Trans Union Corp. said it has introduced a data analysis system to help retailers refine their credit offers.

The "balance predictor" system, called Trade, projects customers' average retail credit balances over 12 months.

Trans Union collaborated on the program with Credit Strategy Management of Atlanta. They concluded that the retailing industry needed specialized models, built around store-credit data, because widely available bank card data do not permit the necessary degree of targeting.

Retailers historically have relied on undifferentiated mass mailings, said Credit Strategy Management executive vice president Barbara Thornton. "The future of effective retailing will require much better targeting and fine-tuned strategies," she said, and Trade will help.

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