By Aaron Holmes, founder and CEO, Kani Payments
No matter how big or small your company is, you need to get ready for Big Data. Your data has the potential to elevate your business into the stratosphere – but only if you harness it and have the capability to unlock every insight it can offer. If you fail to clean up the messy, raw data flowing into your business, you run the risk of being bogged down in out-of-date and inaccurate digital debris.
The fintech industry is built on data. Without it, fintechs would not have been able to brainstorm and build so many agile, lightning-quick digital-first services like mobile wallets and virtual cards. In theory, fintechs shouldn’t have any problems getting to grips with all the different kinds of data they deal with. But this is the paradox – for such an innovative 21st century sector, so many of its businesses are still relying on 20th century spreadsheet tools to report and reconcile their data.
Transforming complex data into easy-to-understand growth insights is a game-changing capability, but in this new digital world, fintechs are relying on systems that can’t keep up with the pace of change.
Just a decade ago, 90% of companies used Excel spreadsheets in their manual data reconciliations. In a 2021 Censuswide study of 306 finance chiefs, 17% were still using manual processes exclusively. This may seem like a massive improvement, but we all know that doing anything manually makes it slow and prone to errors. Given that manual reconciliations take an average of eight days to complete, it’s clear that too many businesses are failing to move with the times, and run the risk of filing inaccurate, error-prone reports and reconciliations that could harm their standing – with payment schemes, regulators, and customers.
At a time when consumers are increasingly becoming avid generators of data, the Internet of Things (IoT), the emergence of new consumer and B2B devices and touchpoints, and the rollout of 5G to name just a few catalysts, are converging to create a tsunami of Big Data that could overwhelm businesses relying on rigid, inefficient reporting tools that are no longer fit for purpose.
The amount of data generated each day is hard to comprehend. Estimates put it at 1.145 trillion megabytes per day, and by 2025 will reach 175 zettabytes, coming from more than 55 billion devices connected to the IoT.
As Big Data gets even bigger and more complex with every passing day, and with companies spending around $215 billion in 2021 to handle data analytics, the mission-critical needs facing businesses all relate to having streamlined and automated data reporting and reconciliation in place. Without it, businesses can’t achieve the operational fitness they need to stay competitive.
If a business can’t clean up and standardise data, trying to identify actionable insights will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Without these vital insights, businesses can’t identify and solve operational pain paints. And increasingly, as regulators everywhere place more stringent and exacting demands on businesses, inaccurate and incomplete data reporting and reconciliation could mean companies face painful fines for non-compliance with regulations, fail audits, and risk the failure of their business altogether.
Grappling with raw data will exhaust resources
As digital transaction volumes skyrocket, getting to grips with the data generated will get even harder for in-house finance teams, particularly those not well-versed in payment data intricacies. Fintechs deal with data coming from several processors, payment schemes and bank account relationships, often spanning fragmented incompatible systems that can’t give a clear overview. Raw data is impossible for humans to make sense of, and outdated in-house systems aren’t doing much better these days.
For early-stage start-up fintechs setting out on their growth journeys, ingesting data from different sources, and unravelling it, is a daunting task. Even long-established fintechs with in-depth payment data expertise can run into roadblocks when they try to scale up, as the existing systems they’ve relied upon slow down with age. Being unable to drill down into individual and underlying transaction data makes it harder to spot reconciliation breaks, causes inaccurate reporting, and makes the workload of manual investigation even more costly and time-draining than it is already.
It can take days or weeks for in-house finance teams to analyse and reconcile data – lost time that could have been better used elsewhere in the organisation, and lost opportunities falling through the hidden gaps.
Unlock data’s maximum value with minimum effort
Getting data to work quickly and efficiently is the fintech industry’s biggest challenge – and opportunity. What makes fintechs successful is in how quickly they can unlock the full value and power of their data, and turn it into the insights that create exceptional services that their customers love.
What fintechs deserve now ultra-fast, accurate and easy to understand data reporting and reconciliation tools fit for the 21st century. That’s why Kani Payments exists – built by payments experts who know transaction data inside out, our mission is to empower fintechs a smart, automated SaaS platform that does the heavy lifting of intensive data reporting and reconciliation, so that they can focus on their customers.
Fintechs can use automated reporting solutions to get many game-changing benefits:
- Consume any data file type from any source;
- Turn the most complex transaction data into easy-to-understand visualised business intelligence;
- Ensure effortless compliance with payment scheme, accounting, audit and regulatory demands.
Complex reconciliations that would have taken days or even weeks to complete can be done in just minutes, and any errors or reconciliation breaks are instantly identified, investigated and rectified, saving many hours of manual work.
Furthermore, that data can be put to work to help businesses pinpoint where cardholders are spending, to highlight geographic transaction heatmaps, or see how many cards are being issued and used. Dashboards and filters can be customised according to the unique needs of the business, with the scalability and flexibility to handle future demands.
When fintechs embrace automated data reporting and reconciliation solutions, they’ll meet all their data management requirements and reporting obligations with speed, simplicity and security – and turn those hidden gaps into their most visible growth opportunities.
About Aaron Holmes
Aaron Holmes is CEO and Founder at Kani Payments. Aaron founded Kani following roles at Flex-e-card as General Manager, Global Processing Services as Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) & Chief Operating Officer (COO), and NBS Card Solutions as Senior Implementation Manager. Building on issuing, programme management and transaction processing roles, Aaron now leads the Kani business from its Newcastle upon Tyne head office.
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