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MAG Sponsor Spotlight: Get Ahead of the Contactless Transaction Curve with Real-Time Visibility (MAG Quarterly- Volume Six, Issue One)

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By Kevin Johnson, Payments Performance Specialist, IR

March 8, 2018

As technology evolves and contactless payments take a bigger share of US transactions, how can you as a merchant get a better handle on new transaction types and devices that are set to take over your traditional payments methods?

If I asked you to ride a bicycle, you might enjoy riding around the block a few times. But, if I asked you to put on a blindfold while riding at night through an obstacle course in a full-on blizzard, how do you think you would do? The lack of visibility and the many obstacles to staying upright would prove daunting at best. 

Many merchants today face similar challenges as brick and mortar transactions transition from traditional credit card swipes to mobile-based contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. Around the world, contactless payments transactions are growing at a blistering pace. Oliver Jenkyn, EVP & Group Executive at Visa, recently presented at Money 20/20.  During his presentation he stated that progressive countries are seeing high rates of contactless transactions, up to 90% for example in Australia. However, the US rate is lagging, with only .05% of all transactions occurring in this manner. Even our good friends to the north (Canada) are at 46%. 

As technology evolves and contactless payments take a bigger share of US transactions, how can you as a merchant get a better handle on new transaction types and devices that are set to take over your traditional payments methods? This is where real-time visibility plays a critical role in ensuring you are fully prepared to take on the new transactions; and if—or probably when—issues arise, you know exactly where the problem exists.

I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of merchants to implement IR Prognosis software to help them keep up with the 24x7 demands of consumers wanting to use both the current and new payments methods. By using Prognosis to capture and show in real-time all the transactions, response codes, timeouts, and issuers, grouped by location or BIN, etc., merchants can instantly see what their consumers are experiencing. 

Besides having a real-time view, Prognosis customers get leading indicators of potential problems. This helps them avoid many consumer satisfaction issues. For example, Prognosis can help find terminals that are no longer processing contactless payments. By leveraging a recently released feature called “Dynamic Thresholds”, you can learn what your “typical” contactless transactional pattern is and get alerted when anything outside of the norm happens. 

With this comprehensive visibility, you no longer need to wait for customers or stores to call in and report problems. Instead, you will be well ahead of the curve and fix many issues before they become critical.  Coupled with automated resolution, your systems will operate at peak performance while you focus your time and resources on more strategic areas.