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Data Scientists Return to Check for Clues on Consumer Behavior


Did American consumers spend more this past holiday season than the previous one? Do iPhone users, whose incomes are typically more than 50% higher than those of Android users, spend 50% more as consumers, as well? What part of the country contains the biggest spenders?

Now, if you are a data scientist looking for innovative ways to answer questions like these, you can check with Check.

We reported last November how data from Check’s mobile bill pay and account management app was helping academic researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor learn about the impact of the October 2013 government shutdown on consumer behavior.

Now researchers from the same institutions, along with others from Arizona State University, have returned to Check’s real-time aggregated data to learn about differences in holiday spending between 2012 and 2013.
Steven Tadelis, associate professor at University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, “From a research perspective, it’s amazing to work with the data provided by Check. With it, we are able to make interesting conclusions about trends and how they relate to mobile users.”
About those trends … the data Check provided to researchers – anonymous user data from more than 150,000 Android users and more than 200,000 iPhone users – revealed that while iPhone user spending outpaced that of Android users, both groups saw year-over-year holiday spending increases of more than 30%. At the same time, however, the average purchase amount for both groups was lower on a year-over-year basis.
Unsurprisingly, the top shopping destinations for both groups remain retailers, Walmart, and Target. In fact, the only non-retailer to make the top five in either year was fast food chain, McDonalds.
Other interesting observations:
  • The biggest spenders by average dollar amount live west of the Rockies (West and Mountain regions)
  • The biggest percent change in average dollar amount spent was the increase of more than 50% in the Plains region, which also had the second lowest average dollar amount spent.
  • The smallest percentage change in average dollar amount spend was on the east coast, led by New England and the Southeast.
Check is an alumni of FinovateFall 2010, where they demoed as Pageonce.