Innovation is touching nearly every facet of the payments industry, from cryptocurrency and digital wallets to buy-now-pay-later and real-time. A system once based on barter-and-trade now offers consumers and businesses numerous channels to make their transactions.
But one key element remains veiled: tapping into the power of real-time payments data. The payments industry is constantly evolving, innovating to meet consumers’ and businesses’ ever-changing expectations. Yet, organizations today still struggle to leverage their payments data to make strategic, impactful decisions.
What are the challenges organizations are facing?
The following are some of the top challenges organizations still face, despite the innovation within the industry:
- Legacy systems: Payments data remains hidden within legacy payment infrastructures, giving organizations little to no access to this data or its insights.
- Disparate and siloed providers: Access to data remains dependent on the particulars of any given acquirer, system, processor, gateway, or provider. Organizations cannot consistently access data across providers, let alone consolidate the data in an impactful method.
- Predetermined views: Some newer systems allow organizations to view their data via preset dashboards or reports. However, this one-size-fits-all approach foregoes the flexibility organizations require to marry their data to their unique businesses, strategic objectives, or environments.
- Stale data: Organizations remain heavily dependent on settlement data or similar reports from their providers, which often contain days-old data. Real-time, continuous payments data remains elusive for the majority of companies. Knowledge is power. Organizations need to access their payments data and insights in real-time to thrive within today’s on-demand, instant world.
How to best access payments data
But like data leveraged in other sectors, there are critical caveats to ensuring organizations gain access to payments data in a method that matters. These include:
- Interoperability: To find the hidden treasure – the insights or opportunities for an organization – payments data must be a complete picture. Consolidated data across vendors, systems, and providers can identify what was once unknown. Otherwise, the picture is incomplete. to their data, and the data needs to be real-time – or as close to it as possible.
- Real-time: Like no one reads the newspaper anymore, day-old data is old news. Organizations must have continuous access to their data needs to be real-time, or as close to it as possible.
- Flexibility: An organization’s ability to slice and dice data per use case, issue, or theory is critical to unleashing the power of payment data. Flexibility allows the data to be used to identify possibilities and validate strategies.
- Single source of truth: A common challenge across sectors, organizations need to accumulate, analyze, and consolidate their data into a single source of truth. This high-level view is how data-driven organizations operate with the ability to drill into the facts as needed.
Why should organizations care about getting access to their payments data?
Here are some examples where leveraging payments data can generate transformative results:
- Identifying trends: Demographics, products, supply chains, customers – just like other data points in an organization’s arsenal, payments data (which is real-time revenue) can identify key trends that enable companies to make better, faster decisions.
- Optimizing operations: From the bank to the ISO to the merchant, having access to real-time revenue data can help organizations run more efficiently and effectively across the ecosystem. It can streamline and optimize payment performance and business operations.
- Ensuring a seamless customer experience: Instant payments data can identify issues and allow you to troubleshoot and remedy them before they become customer-facing. With more visibility and granularity, organizations can ensure their customer experience is superior, wherever and through whichever method consumers purchase.
- Creating competitive advantage: Real-time payments data can significantly enhance existing offerings, whether from an acquirer, processor, or ISO. Providing this missing piece to their customers improves their customers’ businesses and creates a clear competitive advantage, elevating their customer service and retention capabilities.
- Generating revenue: For merchants, leveraging real-time payments data can directly impact revenue. From optimizing operations to adjusting strategy, in an on-demand world where instant is expected, being equipped with instant data can drive tangible changes to an organization’s performance.
Unleash the power of your data. Empower real-time insight
There is significant untapped potential in an organization’s payments data and insight. Marketing could adjust individual campaigns in real-time based on instant revenue data. Management can decide to pull a product for low sales before bearing the cost of inventory and shelf space for the entire month, waiting for final figures.
Payment data can be used in numerous ways – limited only by one’s access to it and imagination on what they could accomplish with it.