Google plans on tracking offline credit card purchases to show online ad effectiveness

To protect against fraud, U.S. banks will be issuing credit cards with small computer chips. But some experts say using a PIN to complete a transaction is more secure than a signature.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google is keeping an eye on what you’re buying offline in addition to monitoring your online shopping in its latest attempt to sell more digital advertising.

The offline tracking of most credit and debit card transactions will help Google to automatically inform merchants when their digital ads translate into sales at a brick-and-mortar store.

Google believes the data will show a cause-and-effect relationship between online ads and offline sales. If it works, it could help persuade merchants to increase their digital marketing budgets. The Mountain View, California, company already runs the world’s biggest online ad network, with $79 billion in revenue last year.

The store sales measurement tool is being unveiled Tuesday in San Francisco at an annual conference that Google hosts for its advertisers.

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