Payments Blog • 4 MIN READ

SLA management in complex payment environments

Brendan McEntee

Written by Brendan McEntee

The rapid evolution in the payments space means that consumers are demanding more choices as to how they engage with retailers. With multiple payment channels now available, and an increasingly competitive marketplace, it means that payment acquirers must ramp up their focus on customers and putting them at the heart of their business.

The changing payments landscape means the evolution of eCommerce capabilities, payment hubs and multi/omni-channel payment services.

Payments are no longer purely transactional and leading businesses as well as merchant acquirers, are recognising that delivering on their service level agreements (SLAs) is critical in a fast and frictionless consumer experience.

The difference between multi-channel & omni-channel payments

These days, a customer will research and review an item up to 12 times before finally deciding to buy it – and often won’t buy it at the place that they first looked.

Multi-channel payments offer customers various online or mobile channels through which to pay. A bricks-and-mortar store for example which offers customers the option of buying on their eCommerce store, or a marketplace like Amazon, or a social media network like Facebook.

Omni-channel is all about merchants melding shopping experiences and payment touch points across their physical store, eCommerce site, mobile app and other places. It means a seamless shopping experience for customers by offering alternative payment methods, comprehensive searchability, embedding loyalty coupons and discounts, free-return or free delivery facilities in their apps.

Businesses are pressured to implement multi/omni-channel marketing to stay competitive and aligned to consumers’ purchasing behaviour:

Immediate – or real-time payments

Payments made from one bank account to another in a matter of seconds, making funds available to the recipient instantly ( e.g. PAYID). This is an opportunity for retailers to reduce costs, improve cash flow and grow their eCommerce business with low payment card usage.

Alternative payments

These are methods that don’t include a credit card. Examples are eWallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal. Prepaid cards, bank transfers, money orders and buy-now-pay-later options are gaining popularity fast.

Machine learning

An AI application that gives systems the ability to automatically learn and improve without being explicitly programmed. As well as being an important predictive analytics tool for merchants, it can be useful in fraud detection to identify patterns and highlight trends too complex to be noticed by humans.

Challenges of multi/omni-channel implementation

Implementation of an omni-channel strategy requires a merging of all business functions to support customers seamlessly and allow them to connect however they want, wherever they are, on any device.

Payment methods are at the centre of omni-marketing, so it’s important that there are multiple points of interaction with customers, integrated with payment options. But it can be complex and costly for retailers with legacy technology to implement. It also opens the door to a higher risk of security breaches, fraud and losses in income through downtime.

How monitoring and troubleshooting helps deliver on SLAs

As the payment processing environment continues to evolve, it will become even more complex. Many merchants still have legacy systems supporting bolt-on technology, system duplication and siloed technology. The added complexity of cross-border payments can create a less than efficient situation in which to deliver on service level agreements.

Prognosis for Payments brings deep, real-time visibility to your entire payments environment with transaction monitoring. Real time monitoring offers unparalleled insights into payment processing, payments transactions and trends. With in-depth analytic and troubleshooting capabilities, you can optimize, improve customer experience, innovate and minimize risk.

Merchants and merchant acquirers are having to contend with worldwide changes and the rapid growth of technology, so payment transaction monitoring is without doubt a necessary part of global payments technology.

Topics: Multi-Technology Payments Customer experience Performance management Reporting and SLAs Payment processing Service Provider

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