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The Time is Now For Payments Data Monetisation

In today’s global economy, everything is driven by data. More specifically, payment data and analytics which is at the core of driving commerce modernisation forward. With the global digital payment market valued at nearly $69 billion in 2021, payment data monetisation is critical for enterprises to leverage as they face margin pressure and customer expectations head-on. 

Today, the most successful financial institutions are working less like monolithic legacy enterprises of previous decades and more like agile, innovative technology enterprises, evolving and pivoting swiftly to meet global and consumer demands. With data at the core being utilised effectively, new opportunities can be leveraged to create new revenue streams, building greater loyalty and creating efficiencies.

When considering the evolution of payments, the last 40 years have gone from heavy, costly infrastructures in mainframe services and fixed field messages in the 1980s to the relational world in the 1990s where each bank had its own schema and concept, disconnected from the rest, eventually leading us to today with readable, flexible and dynamic capabilities with JSON ISO20022 as the new standard. To compete in this  landscape of digital and real-time payments, data must be leveraged and investments must be made in existing services to deliver innovation. For this reason, supporting payment data monetisation initiatives through infrastructure investments is a top priority.  

Making the Right Investment

Choice overload can lead consumers to be overwhelmed or dissatisfied. With this in mind, financial institutions need to make strategic decisions about existing services, and the abundance of options can be overwhelming. Investments need to be prioritised based on needs, services, and consumers, as well as considering the costs, people, and resources needed to mount and maintain these services, all while maintaining the endpoint of innovation in sight. 

Payment data monetisation means investing in the right services. But payment data includes everything from transaction records to data contained within messages and monetising it can be relevant for a number of use cases including using payments data to improve internal operations, identifying clerical errors and optimising procurement processes. On the customer side it can also impact the straight-through-processing rate, which is the percentage of transactions that are passed through the system without manual intervention, as well as incentivising customers to make payments at different times to optimise the liquidity position of the bank, enhancing corporate-facing services and tracking payments and forecasting cash balances far more accurately. 

All of this can only be made possible by unlocking the power of data by investing in the big three: data infrastructure, the cloud, and single view capabilities. In a recent survey of top bank executives, their most sought-after services are rooted in the big three, and include:

  • Consolidated real-time data from multiple banks in a single dashboard

  • Real-time cash forecasting

  • Better security and fraud protection

  • Real-time cash balances

Data infrastructure, cloud technologies, and single view capabilities build a foundation for payment innovation and leadership in the financial services sector, which can then lead to adding on the right existing services. Ultimately though, a foundation built on agile infrastructure is needed to compete with modern, digital institutions. 

Cloud Technology

Cloud-based, digital platforms are integral to modernisation. However, having any infrastructure in the cloud does not equal innovation or agility. An indicator of possible future performance and success issues is not having a proper cloud migration and storage strategy today. As one of the most ancient industries, the banking sector is unsurprisingly attached to monolithic legacy applications. To differentiate themselves, they must leverage modern data architectures with greater agility. This can seem intimidating as it requires migrating thousands of applications built over the last few decades or changing complex organisational requirements. The stories of cloud failures are also out there, but “data monetisation is a strategy, not a product.” There must be a paradigm shift, where banks communicate a business strategy, and use the cloud not as the business strategy but as a tool to facilitate their business strategy, and make the switch from thinking in applications to thinking in platforms, in order to move past simple digitalisation. Institutions can then unlock long-term gains by combining data assets and integrating payments data into an enterprise-wide data platform strategy. 

As one senior executive at a global bank commented: “(Data monetisation) would have been very costly to do on a mainframe. The newer technologies like cloud allow you to do this in a much more efficient and effective way.” 

Single View

One of the biggest challenges financial institutions, or any for that matter, face is unifying disparate data sources to create a single view of the customer. However one of the most sought-after payments services by bank executives is a single dashboard that provides a consolidated view of real-time data across all corporate bank partners.

A single view means institutions can efficiently surface relevant customer information and data-backed insights to inform strategies, and build personalised customer experiences to delight end-users and optimise processes. 

Harnessing Payments Data 

Payment data today is driven by accelerated innovation, real-time experience, high availability, and cost reductions. In action this looks like financial institutions meeting consumer demands via an infrastructure that allows for mobile-first banking, real-time analytics, API-driven open banking, and data enrichment (i.e. client personalisation, fraud prevention, etc.). But none of this is possible without a core database that has the  flexibility required for innovation of payment data today. Having an application data platform as the foundation of this will enable always available, secure and enriched payment data.

As the payments landscape continues to evolve, and regulations make more of an impact, having the right infrastructure to modernise, innovate and monetize is more important than ever. It shouldn’t be an afterthought or a technology driven decision, it has to be a cultural change to embrace data, its power and flexibility. 

 

 

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