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Majority of Businesses Still Losing Revenue Due to Lack of Payments Performance

Lack of business support and inadequate use of data hampering optimisation of payments; but research reveals growing pressure from business leaders to drive performance

More than half (59%) of payments leaders admit that their organisation is currently losing revenue due to shortcomings with their payment gateway. And two thirds (65%) report that they are coming under increasing pressure from business leaders to improve payments performance as a matter of urgency.

Global research from emerchantpay reveals that two thirds (66%) of payments leaders believe they need to make significant improvements in payments performance over the next 12 months in order to avoid losing significant numbers of customers and revenue. 

The Performance Pulse white paper reports that the current lack of optimisation within payments is largely driven by a need to prioritise innovation and a lack of understanding and support from senior leadership. Only 39% of payments leaders feel that the wider business fully recognises the value of optimising payments performance, and only 35% believe that business stakeholders fully understand the benefits of an agile payment infrastructure.

The research indicates that senior business leaders are more interested in innovation and transformation within payments, rather than looking at current systems and delivery. Three quarters (75%) of payments leaders report that innovation is more important that maintaining high levels of performance in payments within their organisation.

“Organisations have to start providing payments leaders with the tools, skills and support to do their jobs effectively and to deliver real value to the organisation.”

Where payments teams are attempting to improve performance across their payments eco-system, they are hampered by a lack of data and insight to make decisions and optimise processes. Three quarters (75%) of payments leaders report that analysing payments data is a challenge within their organisation and the majority of businesses are failing to review and optimise performance on a monthly basis in areas such as analysing decline codes, domestic routing, Merchant Identification Number set-up and processing through the payment gateway.

The research finds that there is not a single area of payments where a majority of payments leaders are happy with their current performance. Less than a quarter (22%) of payments leaders are fully satisfied with their ability to analyse decline codes, and only 24% are fully satisfied in their ability to analyse fraud data to set better rules.

Worryingly, given the associated risks, only 26% of payments leaders are fully satisfied with their current ability to monitor fraud in real-time.

Owen Tustin, VP Realtionship Management, emerchantpay, said:

“This research proves that performance has to become a greater focus for the payments industry. Currently, too many organisations are ‘leaving money on the table’ by not offering their customers the fastest, easiest, most personalised payment experiences possible and by not fully understanding, detecting and preventing fraud. What’s more, they’re risking customer loyalty by neglecting performance. Organisations have to start providing payments leaders with the tools, skills and support to do their jobs effectively and to deliver real value to the organisation. The opportunity for those businesses that can put in place the processes, technologies and behaviours necessary to optimise payments performance are huge.”

Other barriers to improving payments performance are the burden of regulation and compliance obligations which are becoming an increasing drain on resources (37%), lack of budget or cost issues (31%), outdated technology and tools (29%) and finding appropriate partners / vendors (27%).

The research finds that there is not a single area of payments where a majority of payments leaders are happy with their current performance.

55% of payments leaders report that Brexit and the associated foreign exchange risks are adding uncertainty to their payment strategy, increasing to 65% in the UK.

The most common areas where payments leaders feel that they are currently driving optimal performance are ensuring that payments infrastructure is flexible and agile, delivering efficient processing through the payment gateway and putting in place a sophisticated approach to Merchant Identification Numbers (MIDs).

Tustin concluded: “Payments leaders need to ensure they have access to the data they need across all areas of their payments infrastructure and the dedicated resources and skills to translate this data into meaningful and actionable insight. Our industry has to to do a better job in supporting payments professionals to develop robust businesses cases for investment in this area, which prove the commercial value of increased performance, in terms of enhanced customer experience, increased revenue and higher margins.”

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