By André Casterman, Chief Marketing Officer at INTIX and Chair of Fintech Committee, ITFA
Data management technologies now enable banks’ payment teams to get full transparency on their payment operations as well as other types of financial transactions and associated processing events. Combining advanced technology with legacy systems provides bankers with the right visibility to spot payment processing issues before they affect any of their clients.
Cross-border payments get increasingly innovative
The payments business is critical for banks as it constitutes a large part of their revenues. Increasing volumes, regulations, new entrants, emerging technologies and accelerated processes are some of the challenges that most banks deal with on a daily basis. This had led to increasing complexity for banks’ operations teams. New IT systems and middleware technologies, new payment instruments such as SEPA and instant payments, new blockchain applications such as Ripple, new messaging formats such as ISO 20022, new information flows such as SWIFT’s GPI, more stringent SLAs with clients, … have all contributed to this complexity. As illustrated in Figure 1, payments are often going through a series of internal applications and middleware technologies in order to get cleared and confirmed back, each bank has its own set-up and internal workflow.
The challenges for payment operations teams
As a payment operations banker, have you ever been …
- … hurting clients with system-related payment failures?
- … stressed to meet payment cut-off times?
- … desperate to reach operational certainty?
- … wondering how many more payments will get stuck internally?
- … dreaming of fully transparent payment operations?
As end-customers often suffer from operational glitches and long resolution times, their banking partners have come to realise that monitoring payment operations ought to be achieved in a much more proactive way and at a more granular level.
Whilst some would suggest that rationalising the number of internal / legacy systems and technologies would help address such challenges, reality has demonstrated that this “total revamp” approach would be very costly and close to unworkable as business priorities just keep on extending the internal technology mix. On the contrary, one must take advantage of well-functioning legacy systems and build on those using the most appropriate modern technologies. This offers a more effective route to deliver short-term value at an acceptable cost. It also contributes to strategic objectives such as reputation and client satisfaction.
McKinsey & Company: Big Data and advanced analytics will virtually affect every part of the economy, especially financial services.
Enabling BAM: the INTIX Transaction Tracker
The INTIX TransactionTracker helps you visualise in real-time how well your internal systems process incoming payments and clear them through external channels. By supervising the effectiveness and performance of your payment operations, the INTIX Transaction Tracker becomes an important part of the perpetual improvement of your internal payment processes. It helps you keep a finger on the pulse of the operations and ultimately enables you to pro-actively manage your end-to-end processing chain, to resolve problems faster, to further improve process efficiency and to make more informed decisions.
The INTIX Transaction Tracker is a non-intrusive solution that integrates seamlessly into the existing bank system environment, even if made of a plethora of technologies. The solution collects, filters, correlates and analyses, in real-time, financial messages and associated events from all relevant data silos across the transactional process.
All this data is synchronised by a single Big Data application – the INTIX Message Suite – to produce a set of comprehensive and dynamic dashboards and alerts suited for various types of users on a need-to basis. The INTIX Message Suite remains therefore in continuous sync with internal back-office systems. Figure 2 illustrates the type of monitoring dashboard that can be produced.
Figure 2. Example of transaction status dashboard including 14-step tracking
Monitoring both the effectiveness and efficiency of your payment operations
The INTIX Transaction Tracker offers two sets of critical features:
- Real-time transaction tracking. The rich features of the INTIX Transaction Tracker help payments operations managers better handle the volume of activity and the speed at which payments are processed. The INTIX Transaction Tracker shows whether system processes are running normally and at what load. In case of an issue, the Tracker identifies it in real-time and at system, transaction, message and event level. This allows operations managers to focus on areas where human interaction may be required such as functional repairs or compliance-related authorisations, areas that frequently contribute to process delays. The payment processing application dashboards provide multiple avenues of the investigation if there is a need to dig into a situation
- Performance metrics. Additional metrics and dashboards are produced to help focus on process efficiency. Typically, business managers use these dashboards as their objectives are to avoid penalties, caused by missed deadlines and cut-off times, and maintaining the satisfaction of key customers. Such dashboards give business management insights into the performance of their business as illustrated on Figures 3 and 4.
Figure 3. Processing time metrics on a 14-step payment processing workflow across multiple currencies
Figure 4. Processing time metrics for a single currency (e.g., USD)
The INTIX Transaction Tracker knows it all about your payment operations
Using the INTIX Transaction Tracker, banks are able to monitor and investigate their payments operations at each step of the chain as per the earlier Figure 1.
The INTIX Transaction Tracker includes the following features:
- End-to-end tracking. Collect and filter transactions (e.g., payment instructions) as well as related events from the internal front- and back-end applications and middleware systems
- Conversational view. Correlate those feeds in real-time to provide a full “conversational” view of the individual processed steps
- GPI-ready. Enrich end-to-end payment transactions on a continuous basis using external feeds such as SWIFT’s Global Payment Innovation (GPI)
- Real-time ready. Track transactions with real-time feeds from the internal front- and back-office systems. Provide auto-refresh statistical dashboards with drill-down capabilities
- Pro-active monitoring. Help spot anomalies in the transactional flow such as processing failures, weaknesses and risks of missing milestones such as currency-specific cut-off times
- Continuous metrics. Calculate KPIs and SLAs and raise alerts in case of possible contractual breach
- Generic. Track any type of payment such as high-value domestic, SWIFT’s cross-border, domestic retail, … and support any message format
- Alerting. Notify alerts to the right persons via email, API or notification to mobile devices. This allows them to interact automatically with the issue tracking system.
The INTIX Transaction Tracker knows it all about your payment operations and can add predictive logic so as to further enhance the value of the activity monitoring.
Benefits for banks and their clients
The INTIX Transaction Tracker provides a unique combination of benefits for both banks and their customers:
- Non-intrusive implementation: the solution has no impact on existing payment systems and operations and adds no overhead to on-going operations
- Accurate problem detection: the solution pro-actively detects operational bottlenecks and failures at any measurable step in the end-to-end payment processing chain
- Faster problem resolution: the solution helps resolve problems faster thanks to immediate localisation of any issue and access to transaction details
- Full operational transparency: the solution offers full transparency of end-to-end payment operations with detailed measures enabling to improve performance.
The INTIX Transaction Tracker will become your best ally to handle your daily transactional operations. It helps you get full transparency on your payment operations as well as other types of transactions. Thanks to advanced financial data management features, this solution provides you with the comfort of preventing payment processing issues and avoid any impact on your clients.
Consult our INTIX Transaction Tracker page and video.