18 March 2011
How Credit Card Companies Predict Divorce
Credit card companies can predict with 95% certainty that you will get a divorce, two years before it happens, based on your purchases; according to Marissa Mayer, a Vice President at Google.
How they can make such accurate predictions when an individual does not know themselves is remarkable, although it does raise some cause for concern that we are moving towards an Orwellian 1984 society.
It's clear that credit card spending habits are being analysed more thoroughly. On checking credit card statements online, one company now provides us with an analysis of our spending over that month in graph form setting out the percentage of purchases which were made on “travel” “food” “clothing” and put you to shame when the latter seems to take up most of the pie chart.
This level of analysis is pretty basic in comparison. It's extraordinary to see they can make predictions which relationship experts would struggle to do.
What is interesting is what it is about an individuals spending habits that provide such accurate predictions. Is it a change in spending habits, i.e. spending more than is usual? Is the spending as a result of unhappiness in the marriage with shopping acting as a 'pick me up' or is it the spending which will cause couples to argue about money.
It may not only be a change in the level of spending but also the items and services which are being purchased which help these predictions. Certain purchases are obvious such as a payment to a solicitors firm for example but others may be less obvious such as an increase of visits to lingerie shops, payments to hotels or dating agencies. Again, these purchases may point to extra marital affairs but not necessarily divorce. Adultery is not the cause of 95% of divorces and so there must be other spending habits which lead to these accurate predictions.
Why do credit card companies need this information anyway? Do they want to predict this to ensure debts are paid or do they do this to sell their services, for example selling legal insurance. It's likely to be the former with companies being concerned that liabilities will not be met if a couple divorce.
Divorce Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free initial consultation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.
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