Scale is probably the biggest challenge that banks face when monitoring payments in a high volume environment. The typical bank has a large number of payment applications. Payments can come from ATM transactions, store purchases, or direct deposits for payroll. When an employer generates payroll, a batch file of transactions comes through to be paid into several accounts. As they flow through the system, they might have to go through multiple hops and visit multiple payment applications to get completely approved.
Monitoring Payments to Meet Service Levels
Typically, all types of payments have different associated service levels that the bank has committed to. A large bank will run many tools across those different payment flows to monitor that the service levels are being met. The complexity comes from having to flow across multiple different applications. For example, you could come in through a payment gateway, go through a hub that acts as the center of the bank's payment systems, and then go out to the core banking application. There could be several different monitoring tools for each of those different applications.
Detecting Payment Exceptions Early to Proactively Alert
The service level that the bank agreed to is the flow through all those hops. They need to detect exceptions early in case there are any issues with the payments. There could be a slow payment in the system, an item could be held up in a queue, or a payroll file may have an account number that no longer exists. Monitoring payment tools will alert the bank that manual intervention is needed to resolve the issue. It's important to have visibility of the payments flow so you'll always know if there are exceptions in the system. You can be alerted to take action right away.
Ensure Confidence with Complete Payments Visibility
The other side of the coin is the ability to see that things are flowing smoothly. Even when there are no exceptions, you can go right into a dashboard and have complete visibility of the different payments flowing through all the applications in your environment. That can instill confidence in the bank that the whole payment system is working effectively and the customers are getting the service that they expect.
Small Payments Volume on the Upward Trend
Over the past 7 years there's been huge growth in payment volume, especially with card-based payment systems. The move to tap and go payments would've been unheard of only a couple of years ago. Now these new options make it easier than ever for customers to go and buy a cup of coffee. That's driving a huge growth in volume for small payments and it doesn't seem likely to slow down any time soon. I think that the scale of these systems is just going to keep growing. As payment volume increases, it's really important to be sure that your systems can keep pace.
Streamlining Payment Applications without Customer Disruptions
Banks realize that they have upwards of 50 applications all communicating with each other. It's a complex setup, and I think banks are looking to streamline. If you're going to change the way your payment flow works, you want to be sure that customers aren't affected. They should still get the same service as before but in a more streamlined and maintainable way.