Hyundai’s Big Data Ambitions Depend On A Little-Known Credit Card Company

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Ted Chung, chief executive officer of Hyundai Card.
Jean Chung/Bloomberg

South Korea’s second-biggest conglomerate by revenue has big plans in the hot field of big data—and a little-known credit card subsidiary looks set to play a crucial role.
Hyundai Motor has ambitious plans to invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to become a “Smart Mobility Solution Provider.” It’s a broad plan that includes crunching data—”the new oil” in the digital age—to provide personalized services and content related to shopping and streaming.
In line with the plan, Hyundai Card, the Korean car giant’s credit card unit, has been quietly winning the war for data science talent for years and is already capable of analyzing the consumer spending patterns of its more than 9 million card holders. Hyundai Card’s data science expertise makes the company, which is preparing for a blockbuster IPO, more important than ever for the auto-to-steel conglomerate.
Hyundai Card collects 2,000 to 3,000 raw data from each of its credit card holders, says CEO Ted Chung in a video interview. “Hyundai Card is getting so much precious data,” says Chung, who joined the Hyundai group in 1987 after he earned an M.B.A. …

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