MasterCard Inc. is offering merchants an analytics service based on its transaction data.

The Purchase, N.Y., payments company said the service, MasterCard Advisors Merchant Solutions, would give merchants insights into how consumers spend their money and how merchants are able to attract customers.

Andrew Woodward, the senior vice president of merchant solutions for the MasterCard Advisors unit, said the company already crunches its transaction data to provide analytics and marketing services to banks, and "we realized it would be good business to apply that winning strategy to merchants."

Data for the service, which was announced Tuesday, comes from more than 340 million MasterCard-branded credit, charge and debit cards issued in the U.S., MasterCard said. Additional information includes estimates of sales by other payment methods, such as cash, check, debit, charge and credit card sales across all brands.

One component of the service, SpendingPulse, provides comparative data on national retail sales and the payment types consumers use for various merchant categories, such as apparel, e-commerce and restaurants. "Because SpendingPulse compiles and aggregates transaction data from millions of U.S. transactions, plus estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check, it draws upon a much richer data source and larger universe than traditional macroeconomic indicators," Woodward said.

Another tool, Benchmark Analytics, supplies comparative data on merchant performance against the merchant's industry and competitors, on a national or local scale.

Merchants also can track metrics such as average transaction frequency and average transaction value. "Benchmark Analytics represents all general-purpose credit and signature-debit card spend, which is a statistically robust sample for tracking market share and spend behaviors," Woodward said.

A third component consists of custom marketing services, which identify participating banks' cardholders who might be good prospects for targeted offers.

Advisors Merchant Solutions is available to any merchant, and the merchant can choose any or all of the components, Woodward said. SpendingPulse and Benchmark Analytics pricing starts at $10,000 for annual subscriptions to either service. Pricing for the marketing services will vary based on each merchant's needs.