How Well Do You Know Your Data?

How Well Do You Know Your Data?

Businesses today are collecting more data than ever before related to their companies and how they operate. But do we really understand all this information? And, are we making the data work for us? As 2019 rapidly comes to a close, now is a good time to pause and evaluate the data your business is collecting, how it’s being used and to gauge your ROI. Digging into those numbers now can help ensure your business is more profitable and efficient going forward.

As a payment processor, Segpay provides merchants with a lot of data regarding their consumers’ payments, to help them determine what factors contribute to successful payments over time. Recently, we went through an extensive data review with one of our largest clients. Like most merchants in our space, this client incorporates multiple billers. Their goal was to figure out how well each biller was performing and whether our client was getting the most out of each of us.

We all win by understanding our data better and what exactly it means.

One of the key takeaways from this exercise was that evaluating data from different billing processors is not always an “apples to apples” comparison. It is important that merchants understand the data they receive from each processor and what it represents, so they know what they are comparing. With this fresh insight, we’re inviting other merchants to take a deep dive into their data.

Merchants Hold Billers Accountable

In our experience merchants hold us and all other billers accountable to several different metrics. These include fees, conversion and approval rates and customer retention rates to name a few, along with the quality of customer service they receive.

Every biller has a different way of processing data. How can you make sure you understand the data your payment processor is providing? Some things to look for include:

1. Is the processor reporting declined payments in unique or raw numbers? This has a big impact on an approval rate. Watch out for the one customer that clicks “join” 1,000 times, where you are looking at raw approval rates completely upside down!

2. Are you factoring in chargeback/refund/void rates to get a true net sales number?

3. Are you looking at ratios of pay page hits to actual payment submissions, and submissions to approvals?

4. If you are using multiple billers, are you reviewing the traffic that you’re submitting to each in a fair manner? For example, if 80 percent of your primary traffic is going to one biller, that biller is more likely to perform better than a biller in your decline cascade.

Not All Traffic is Created Equal

The merchant plays a role in the amount and type of traffic they send to each biller. It’s important to know the source of the traffic and how you’re routing transactions to each biller, when using more than one. Not every transaction attempt is equal, and transactions vary by region. Drill down and look at patterns by region to understand how consumers from different countries act.

Similarly, processors can handle certain transactions differently. For example, merchants can use our one-click web service or one-click payment page to help repeat customers check out quickly without having to re-enter saved credit card information. In most cases, reduced risks associated with these existing consumers call for less friction in the payment process. Some billers view the risk differently, however, and may increase friction on a full or partial payment page. It’s important to know how each biller treats each situation. For example, how simple does each biller make it to purchase additional tokens (for those in the cam world)?

What Data Are Your Billers Not Providing?

Know the specific data each biller is providing so you can do your own analytics. For example:

1. Are you able to identify whether a prepaid card is used in a transaction? That will play a role in conversion rates for recurring members, and can also be used to potentially identify affiliate fraud.

2. Are you receiving BIN data to analyze which banks and card types perform better?

3. Are you given access to email and other user data so you can remarket to consumers?

4. Are you getting true decline codes, so you know when a decline comes from a biller or a bank and why?

We all win by understanding our data better and what exactly it means. Merchants can make fair evaluations between billers and get the most out of each provider they work with. Processors provide better services when we understand our data, too. Just like any type of service provider, billers are not all created equal; each one has services that can help you improve your business. The better you understand what you’re getting, the more you can optimize those services. When you know your data and understand what you’re getting from your payment processors, you don’t have to make assumptions. Knowing your data puts you in the driver’s seat toward additional revenue.

Cathy Beardsley is president and CEO of Segpay, a global leader in merchant services offering a wide range of custom financial solutions including payment facilitator, direct merchant accounts and secure gateway services. Under her direction, Segpay has become one of four companies approved by Visa to operate as a high-risk internet payment services provider. Segpay offers secure turnkey solutions to accept online payments, with a guarantee that funds are always safe and protected with its proprietary Fraud Mitigation System and customer service and support. For any questions or help, contact sales@segpay.com or compliance@segpay.com.


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