Payments Blog • 12 MIN READ

Real time payment analytics: the linchpin of your payments system

Jamie Pearson

Written by Jamie Pearson

In today's digital age, the payments industry is increasingly driven by information and data. While this is nothing new, card issuers, retailers and acquirers have realized that gaining better insights into customer behavior provides a deeper understanding of sales and customer spending patterns.

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Through valuable data insights, led by information and payments data, a business can improve profitability, optimize revenue and cut costs. Without transaction data and analytics to get clear visibility into the payments environment, a business wouldn't be able to identify transaction performance issues, or detect fraud and other anomalies. Services would be disrupted, repair times and troubleshooting processes would also be derailed, and the risk of bottlenecks for services like online banking, POS or mobile payment networks would increase.

Payment analytics tools allow a business to take historical data and apply it to things that are happening to a business right now. This applies to sales and payment processing or any online services in the payment space. Analytics are as important to the payment industry as any business, if not more so. In order to improve your payment services and performance, it's necessary to understand customer profiles and behaviors - as well as having insights to providers' risk profiles.

What can payment analytics do?

Analytics gives us access to a mixture of traditional payment data as well as insight into what's happening inside your payment system. By combining data about how your system is working with ad hoc reports, we can get better insights into transaction data. This in-depth analysis can provide information that will help a business provide better customer service - which directly relates to revenue.

For example, it's possible to take a glimpse at the normal pattern of transactions flowing through your system and then see if something is happening that's not normal for this time of the day (or day of the week). From there, monitoring software can provide customized alerts on transactions, forewarning any issues before they become a bigger problem.

To turn payment metrics and data into valuable information and provide value-added services, as well as differentiate in the marketplace, card issuers, acquirers and retailers must have advanced reporting software and tools to highlight the KPIs.

Detecting Normal Patterns

Historical data provided by payment analytics software and monitoring tools can help to detect patterns within a business that are typical with payment systems. At the start of the business day, for example, card payment systems might show a slight spike in transactions. The volume will grow steadily over time until it peaks at midday and eases off towards the end of the workday. There may also be a small peak near closing hours while everyone is going to the ATM to withdraw money.

This is a relatively simple example of a pattern that's easily detected. The power of data management and analytics comes from finding correlations between different points of data. If you can pinpoint times of day where there are bursts in transaction decline rates, this could sometimes be an indicator of fraud attempts. You might not be able to find out for sure unless you know the patterns of your system and look at related metrics together. It might be a combination of transactions, time of day, and opening/closing times of particular merchants. The more you know the patterns, the more you can detect things in the data that aren't normal.

How payment analytics can help business growth

Payment analytics for payments operations managers

Viewing payment analytics through a single pane of glass indicates whether or not the payment process is running without interruption. It also shows precisely where any issues are, and reports as to why they may be happening.

Payments operations managers are responsible for a huge volume of activity and the related speed at which payments are processed, so viewing payments analytics allows managers to focus on areas where human interaction may be required, alleviating processing delays.

Payment analytics for program managers and management execs

The job of a VP or senior account executive is to concentrate on avoiding penalties, missed deadlines, improving customer experience and satisfaction through careful business decisions. Real time analytics can help enhance business decisions by providing a specific dashboard through which to view and monitor the entire payment platform. Analytics tools reveal:

  • Payment product activity
  • Profitability and expense analytics
  • Multi-channel payment activity


Payment analytics for IT and business application support teams

With real time payment analytics and insights, IT organizations can better understand how the information system may impact the payment process. Payments analytics show data passed between application components and the physical components that supports that data. For example, these analytics indicate whether data is flowing without interruption between applications, so support managers can quickly find the root cause and solution.

Payment analytics for card issuers

Today's payment market is crowded. Established card issuers and entrants to the market need a flexible solution that helps them manage every online payment method and card type including credit, debit, prepaid and commercial...through every stage of the lifecycle. Payment analytics puts solutions in place, giving issuers the opportunity to innovate and define their products more dynamically.

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Payment analytics for merchant acquirers

In a rapidly changing digital and globalized world, cross-border acquirers and retailers are now faced with processing digital and in-person payments from everywhere in the world. Acquirers are now required to provide more flexibility and transparency on pricing, and also connect with multiple local and international schemes. Additionally, acquirers are under pressure to optimize the pricing of processing, and commission structures. Payment analytics help acquirers to adapt their systems to accommodate any merchant structure as well as increase distribution of products and merchant sales.

Payment analytics for retailers

Retailers are at the mercy of consumer behavior and the speed at which it's progressing. With contactless payments, eWallets, online ordering and other emerging platforms, retailers are seeing the need to reduce costs associated with electronic payments, and also offering customers a means of payment that's both secure and convenient. Payment analytics help retailers to track consumer behavior, both through online ordering and in-store, leading to a better understanding of what they need - which in turn leads to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Payments analytics for fraud monitoring

With transactions coming from multiple systems and multiple channels at any time, issuers and acquirers need to mitigate the risk of payment fraud. Monitoring and authorizing transactions coming from multiple systems and channels at any time of day is vital. This creates challenges for issuers and acquirers who may need to make the decision to block authorizations in real time. Payment data analysis will help to alert customers of suspicious transactions or behavior.

Every business needs payments analytics

A definitive report by Worldpay, on the art and science of global payments shows some interesting payment statistics and insights into world payment trends. Analytics tools and monitoring solutions are vital because they help businesses measure, view growth and make decisions all the way through the payments chain, and across each different platform.

Businesses need to clearly understand the importance of collecting and analyzing data. There are many analytics tools available, but the right analysis helps you extract the relevant information that suits your payment environment. From there, you can use that information operationally to improve the way your system performs. You need to know your payment environment—that way you can get the historical data, and tie it back into the real time transaction flow and reporting. You'll be able to use the information to detect abnormalities while they're happening rather than having to wait until you run analytics at the end of the day.

Considering the consumer experience

As payments providers worldwide are coping with the increasing pressure to uphold revenues and margins, customer service is becoming an important asset for every business. It's customers after all, who are driving the changes in the payments space. Omnichannel and multichannel integration is growing fast, and the explosive growth of customer interaction touchpoints is forcing businesses as well as financial institutions to change the way channels are built and managed. Payment analytics software is crucial, and businesses are coming to depend on payment data to customize and enhance a wide range of digital services, transactions and interactions.

In the digital era, investments in software products and technology solutions are top priority when it comes to transforming the consumer experience. However, business agility is increasingly important, so to keep an organization growing, any software or technology products need to incorporate the ability to not only support current services, but rapidly build, plot and launch a broad business transformation.

Many businesses now use robotics or artificial intelligence (AI) as another way to reduce manual workloads, manage customers, improve cycle times, and minimize back-office errors. McKinsey research shows that 65 percent of back-office tasks at contact centers, and 30% - 50% of front-line calls, can now be automated, with a positive effect on a business, and of course, revenue.

IR's Transact suite of payments solutions

IR's Transact suite of solutions, built on the powerful Prognosis platform, simplify the complexity of managing modern payments ecosystems, bringing real-time visibility and access to your entire payments environment. Transact reveals unparalleled insights into transactions and trends to help streamline the payments experience, turning data into intelligence, and assuring the payments that keep you in business.

Businesses can gain unlimited access and insights into customer usage data, end-to-end transaction performance metrics, and with dynamic visualization tools, businesses easily get a clear view of all this information to make proactive management decisions. With Transact as part of your payments solutions, the benefits are many:

  • Businesses can get insights into the way each different channel is performing to improve conversion rates and deepen engagement with customers.
  • A business can better understand the ROI of each software application and device in use, plus break down the revenues and costs of different digital transactions
  • Customer product use, transaction types and amounts can be analyzed through one clear window
  • A business can adopt more sophisticated cross-channel integration without the risk of service disruptions.
  • Businesses, acquirers and processors can meet regulatory compliance by identifying suspicious transaction behavior and alerting to specific response code errors .
  • Transaction performances can be improved and interaction with customers can be more successful by isolating device, host connectivity, network and related application issues.

Key takeaway

Whether it’s tracking card performance across all banking channels, looking for unusual transaction activity, or gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior and channel profitability, all these processes require real time performance monitoring and data analytics.

If you want to grow your business, payments analytics tools are important in every sector of the payments space. The proper monitoring platform can make a difference to the revenue of any business.  IR's solutions can help strengthen your business by providing in-depth payment analytics, insightful reports and clear visibility of your entire payments ecosystem.

As the payments industry continues to evolve, providers must contend with new competitors, emerging software, applications and technologies, growing regulatory challenges, increasing customer demands, as well as the ever-increasing risk of fraud.

So whether your environment is on-premises, in the cloud or hybrid, IR can offer payment analytics and troubleshooting products and solutions that can get you where you need to be in the digital payments space, and make optimizing complex payments environments a breeze.

How will businesses cope with the challenges of a changing payments world?

Managing your changing payments environment

Topics: Payments

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