An increasing number of Paymentech merchant processing and commercial card clients are utilizing Internet reporting tools to manage payment related information. This movement to harness the Internet as a practical management tool for financial data goes beyond web marketing and sales.
Paymentech demonstrated its Internet reporting applications at the Treasury Management Association conference in Orlando. Responding to client demand, Paymentech developed three Internet products that increased internal efficiencies and added value for clients by simplifying data management for different customer bases. Paymentechâs commercial card unit converted 200 large market customers in just six months to its industry-leading PaymentNetâ¢, an Internet reporting system for purchasing, corporate and fleet card clients. Paymentech also converted over 1,200 smaller customers to a small business version of PaymentNet. Another web-based reporting product allows Paymentechâs direct marketing merchants to access credit card transaction data. For this same customer segment, the company also delivers daily activity files via a fast and automated E-mail process.
The companyâs orchestrated effort to deploy Internet solutions across business units has also received an industry accolade. Dallas-based Paymentech was recently awarded that cityâs Arthur Andersen Best Practices Award for Unleashing the Power of Technology. The award recognized the Internet reporting strategy and the products being implemented.
According to Michael P. Duffy, chief operating officer, Paymentech employed a new technology team to ensure that different Internet applications shared technological resources and leveraged the common infrastructure of a company-wide customer web page. âAll Internet products share communication lines and servers, including backup systems,â said Duffy. âThis cooperative approach between units eliminated duplicate start-up costs.â
First-to-market PaymentNet has been a major factor in a third of Paymentechâs recent commercial card sales. The program provides password protected access to a companyâs purchasing and/or corporate card activity. With PaymentNet, large and mid-sized clients establish parameters for data access, including query definitions, multiple simultaneous users, and cost allocation interfaces to accounting systems. PaymentNet reporting expedites data delivery in contrast to downloading complex file formats that slow down a clientâs internal systems and require extensive programming to edit. In addition to standard reports, information can be channeled into different accounting allocations by default and through query capabilities. A companyâs card program administrator, to eliminate internal redistribution of reports, presets access levels. A companyâs transactions are then periodically âmappedâ into the financial systems using accounting codes (cost center, department, project, etc., up to eight different user-defined options) based on cardholder defaults, merchant category code, unique supplier identification or split across multiple accounting codes for all MasterCard and Visa transactions.
âCommercial card clients receive customized data quickly and securely. That enables them to monitor, analyze and manage purchasing, travel and entertainment, and fleet expenditures more effectively,â said James W. Baumgartner, president of Paymentechâs commercial card unit, which issues MasterCard and Visa products. âPaymentNet also provides real-time maintenance of cardholder accounts, review of exceptions, and on-line submission of disputes to customer service.â
PaymentNet is platform independent and requires no system integration. Access is available via any SSL compatible Internet browser, such as Explorer 3.0+ or Netscape 3.0+. With the quicker development cycle of Internet reporting, new reports and data analysis functionality can be delivered within a few days.
PaymentNet customers, such as Houston-based Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI), report substantial savings. BFI utilizes Internet reporting with its purchasing card program. âManagers of card users quickly review transactions,â said Terry Taylor, BFIâs divisional vice president. âThat enables us to effectively manage purchases across the country and moves accountability to program users.â
Similar to PaymentNet, direct merchant web-based reporting provides real-time, on-line access to Paymentechâs database. Direct marketing customers view enhanced data with a six-month transaction history that includes authorization, deposit, chargeback, retrieval request and re-authorization information. Available now to a select group of merchants, Paymentech will continue to roll out Internet reporting to other appropriate client groups.
With web-based reporting, Paymentech reduces call center activity dedicated to information requests. Merchants previously needing updated transaction data had two options: (1) telephone the call center to receive bank transfer information and transaction history (over 270,000 calls annually); or (2) use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for limited deposit and refund information (over 300,000 yearly calls). Authorization and chargeback data was not available on the IVR.
By securely accessing web-based reporting for inquiries, merchants enjoy improved availability of information. It is available 24 hours a day. Customers also save time and money by eliminating phone calls to Paymentech.
Finally, Paymentech uses Internet electronic mail to replace paper-based merchant processing transaction detail reporting. Direct marketing merchants received activity statements via U.S. mail or fax. Large merchants accepted more than 100 pages a day. âEmail Reportingâ proved a faster delivery system while still easy to implement by all sizes of merchants.
Email Reporting extracts processing data and sends a secure PGP encrypted ASCII file via Internet into a customerâs E-mail system. The data is quickly and easily imported by customers into spreadsheets, accounting software and databases.
Many merchants reported a three-hour daily work reduction. One merchant imports data into an order database, automatically matching chargebacks to original transactions. Another client imports data into its accounting software program and reconciles activity daily, saving three to five man-hours of work.
With E-mail delivery, Paymentech eliminated postage, paper and hours of mailroom labor. Merchants save money by the elimination of receiving fax documents and the associated printing, paper and storage costs.
Paymentech, Inc., founded in 1985, provides full-service electronic payment solutions in merchant acquiring, third-party transaction processing and commercial card payment and information programs. The company processed 1.9 billion total transactions and approximately $49.3 billion in sales volume in fiscal year 1998. Paymentech is the third largest processor of bankcard transactions and a leading issuer of commercial cards in the United States.Details