Payments Blog • 8 MIN READ

Using payments data to simplify complexity

Most payments ecosystems are incredibly complex, and as such, produce huge volumes of data. But how can businesses use this data to facilitate better business decisions, provide a great customer experience and keep downtime and outages to an absolute minimum?

How does data translate to insights?

For today’s businesses, the key consideration for success is the ability to adopt data-driven and data-informed approaches to making important decisions and building growth strategies. But data itself can be an overwhelming beast that needs to be tamed in order to extract those valuable insights.

  • You need to be able to accurately explore your payments data. This means cutting and slicing it to view it from all different angles.
  • You need to know where your congestion points are, how often they’re happening, and identify patterns.
  • You need to see why declines are happening, or slow authorizations.

When you understand the what and the why, you can make informed decisions as to what to do about it.

Want more on simplifying payment complexity? Watch the webinar on demand.


What can businesses achieve through data and analytics?

Everyone wants to grow revenue, reduce costs, attract more customers and deliver better customer experience.

Using the customer experience metric as an example, from an IT Ops perspective, delivering a good customer experience equates to minimal, or no downtime and outages.

For a payments product manager, a good customer experience might mean helping customers to help themselves, ie. providing them with self service tools, such as an analytics tool to help with their questions and to better manage their payments.

Key Capabilities

Using monitoring and analytics tools

Using monitoring and analytics tools to transform raw data into meaningful insights leads to better and more informed decision making.

Payments providers today are focused on putting data and insights into the hands of people who need it. Whether it’s IT Ops or merchant help desk, product teams, finance teams, the right people need to know what’s going on. Analyzing payments data gives the right people the right insights.

Not everyone in an enterprise is an analytics expert, so monitoring and analytics solutions need to be completely user-friendly and intuitive to use.

What insights can businesses get from their data?

Payments environments are inherently complex. There’s an ever-expanding array of systems, and channels that have to be managed.

There’s also a lot of operational intensity in running help desks, with incredibly high volumes to manage. Insights can help manage that complexity, so payments providers are choosing to analyze their payments data for insights into three key areas:

  • Increasing business performance.
  • Improving customer experience.
  • Supporting operational excellence.


Banks and merchants generate huge volumes of data, but the issue is that not everyone has easy access to it. Hence the need for a solution that puts important insights into the hands of those who need it.

Business teams want insights on commercial metrics, like sales and costs. How to win new customers and retain existing customers. They want to know what happens at the point of purchase, such as decline volumes, wait times associated with receiving a response on a payment terminal, or the increasing use of a particular payment method at a point of sale.

Operational teams want to understand efficiency and performance so they can take preventative action before customer-facing issues happen. And if issues do eventuate, they want the ability to go back in time and look for similar cases that help them identify root causes for underlying systemic issues.

Business Performance

Using insights to enhance business performance

By looking into their data to see what has happened in the past, businesses have the ability to forecast future payment outcomes.

For example, merchants emerging from COVID restrictions will want to look at past data for insights into in-store vs online volume splits to help them make decisions as to having stock on hand, and store inventory etc.

Some payments businesses who act as a service provider - like a merchant acquirer, are using analytics as a product, and providing it as a value-added service to their merchants.

This allows their merchants to self-explore their payments data to uncover their own patterns and trends. In doing so, acquirers can win new customers because this acts as a service differentiator, as well as growing their customers’ business over time.

Below is a dashboard example of what a merchant would typically want to look at in terms of key metrics on their business.

Revenue Performance

Automated alerts and reporting

Most businesses don’t have the time or the operational means to have physical eyes on screens 24/7, so the great thing about third party solutions is that they can generate alerts when an event occurs, or when there’s a significant deviation from normal. This is a huge time saver for incident response teams to have insights provided when they matter most.

Insights provide improved customer experience

Insights are crucial to help find ways to provide better service and a deeper understanding of customers. For example, insights can uncover reasons why a customer is facing a negative experience at the point of payment, such as declines, slow response times or transaction timeouts.

Insights allow you to look at all payments data across your entire network, and to be able to drill down and accurately pinpoint where, when and why it’s happening.

Acquirers and processors can empower their customers by providing merchants with secure access to their own payments data, where they can analyze it in a way that’s relevant to them. This is a powerful and proven way to acquire and retain merchants.

Customer Experience

Analytics deliver real-time intelligence and actionable insights that no business can afford to be without. With transaction volumes increasing, new payment methods rapidly emerging and layer upon layer of added complexity in today’s payments systems, businesses need to keep up with changing market demands.

Business growth is all about understanding what your data is telling you. But to simplify the complexity of this data, you need intuitive, easy-to-use tools that can be customized to your specific needs.

With the ability to easily turn payments data into business insights, you can be confident that your organization is investing in ongoing growth and success.

IR Transact simplifies the complexity of managing modern payments ecosystems, providing real-time visibility and monitoring to the payments industry.

Managing your changing payments environment

Topics: Payments Transact Transaction analytics

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