The Importance of Payments Visibility and How it Enhances eCommerce Revenue
There’s a secret horde of powerful information buried deep within your eCommerce payment systems. Go prospecting for these nuggets and you could unearth riches that drive up revenue for your online products and services, reduce rejections and chargebacks, and result in a much better experience for your customers.
We’re talking about payments visibility.
If you enjoy digging into all the reporting behind your electronic payment methods, you probably have a good idea of the power of payments visibility. For everyone else, we’re going to give you a hardhat, a flashlight, and a guiding hand to show you how this vital insight can strengthen your eCommerce business.
Payments Visibility, Briefly Explained
Payments visibility is about understanding exactly how payments move through your payments stack, payment processors, and payment providers to identify issues like:
- Different methods of ePayments getting routed to the wrong processors.
- Delays to payment processing from specific processors.
- Overcharges made by payment processors.
- Incorrect rejections of legitimate payments.
- Acceptance of fraudulent or other problematic payments.
- Refunds, chargebacks, and other returned funds.
Let’s explore how these insights can benefit your eCommerce business.
Why You Need Payments Visibility
If you track, measure, and review payments as they move through your systems, you can make improvements and eliminate underlying problems.
Get the Right Electronic Payment to the Right Processor
Customers have never had more choice in how to pay for your products and services. With options as varied as card, direct transfer, mobile wallet, or even cryptocurrency, you need the right payment processor for the right payment method, every time.
Payments visibility lets you track every single transaction as it passes through your payments stack—from the payment provided by a customer through authorization and validation to acceptance, payment collection, and the final deposit into your merchant account.
Payment routing can be complex, and payment visibility can be used to ensure transactions are routed correctly to keep your costs down and rejections to a minimum. You can tweak your processing rules based on types of payment, amounts, quotas, and other metrics so you’re getting the most value out of each third party.
Identify Delays from Payment Processors
Customers expect a fast and easy checkout, and you expect money in your merchant account as soon as possible. Payments visibility helps you find and understand any delays in your eCommerce payment processing. You can identify bottlenecks, find common factors, and make tweaks to speed up how money travels from your customer to you.
If you’re experiencing regular delays with a specific processor, you can reroute payments until issues get fixed. You can also build in contingency and continuity plans if a processor or other third party fails altogether.
Find Out If You’re Being Overcharged
There are lots of middlemen in payment processing, and everyone wants their cut. You’ve likely got multiple contracts and agreements in place for the rates and fees you’ll pay, but it’s still important to check you’re being charged correctly. Payment visibility lets you dig into the charges being levied from various partners to check you’re paying the right fees. You can get a good understanding of your payment costs per transaction (not just at the end of the month) and build those into your profitability calculations.
Enhance Payment Acceptance, Reduce Rejections
One of the most frustrating areas for an online merchant is when real payments from genuine customers are declined. This might come from overzealous fraud detection and false positives, or it might be a rejection from a payment gateway, processor, card network, or bank that’s further upstream. Whatever the reason, payments visibility will help you identify trends and patterns, so you can take steps to reduce false rejections and accept payments within your risk tolerance level.
Reduce Fraudulent Transactions and eCommerce Loss
Of course, the other frustrating area for online merchants is the high amount of fraud that’s out there. Despite tight rules, excellent fraud detection software, and a vigilant attitude, it’s almost inevitable that some fraudulent transactions will slip through. In these cases, you can use payment visibility to identify underlying causes and train your fraud detection software to avoid them in the future. This will need to be carefully balanced with your false positives detection so you’re not inadvertently turning away real customers.
Minimize Refunds, Chargebacks, and Other Repayments
Chargebacks and refunds can be costly for your eCommerce business. With payments visibility, you can track transactions from start to finish to learn what may be causing a chargeback or refund in the first place. You can then take actions to reduce the chances of further chargebacks down the road.
What to Look for From Payments Visibility and Reporting
Now that you understand how payment visibility can help you enhance your eCommerce payments, it’s worth looking at the most desirable features from a payments visibility system. Ideally, you need:
- Payments visibility built into every part of the payments stack, so you can track the entire payment transaction lifecycle, from initiation to reconciliation.
- Real-time insights, so you can understand what’s happening right now. Oftentimes, the most current payments visibility information is necessary to make the best decisions.
- One view of payments, so you get a comprehensive understanding of settlement and reconciliation, whatever the method of electronic payment, the route through your systems, the payment provider, or the currency type.
- End-to-end payment costs and fees, so you know exactly how much you’re paying for payment processing and other third-party services.
Payments Visibility Provides Huge Value to eCommerce Merchants
Don’t underestimate the power of true, accurate, timely payments visibility. With detailed reporting across the stack, you can identify problems earlier, put fixes in place, deal with payment challenges, and use continual improvement to enhance how you manage and route every type of payment.