What is reconciliation? Why is it required?
Merchants are managing digital payments at a steady pace and across an ever-expanding field of touchpoints and partners. And every penny that comes in or goes out — must be tracked and accounted for.
Reconciliation is a process of matching records between two different sources of data. Reconciliation of digital transactions is important to ensure that money collected matches the net sales amount (sales — returns) (amount received vs amount expected).
Why is it important in digital payments?
Merchant payments often have fund flow decoupled from transaction flow. Typical settlement can happen on T+1 or T+2 days. There are often discrepancies between settlement data and transaction response data. This can be due to multiple reasons:
- Multiple parties — Digital payments involves multiple systems, there are always cases of status mismatch between these systems
- Late success/Failure — Lag in status updates, there are some transactions which take time to move into success/failure, thus causing recon issues
- Charges — Usually merchants are always settled in the amount net of commission, charges, taxes, etc. which further increases mismatch possibilities between money received vs expected
A proper reconciliation process helps prevent frauds, keep a track of cash flows, and keep a track of spending on payment fees and other charges.
Why does it become complex?
As merchant volumes grow, it becomes very complex for finance/CRM teams to do reconciliation activities manually. This is due to:
1.Multiple payment partners — Merchants add multiple payment partners as their volumes grow. Every payment partner has a different settlement cycle, reporting formats, etc.
2.Size of files — Doing reconciliation with multiple files of huge sizes is not only time-consuming and requires dedicated resources, this also increases the chances of manual errors.
3.Date of Refunds — Refunds are triggered on different dates than transactions making it very hard to match.
How are we solving complexity?
We use data analytics and engineering to ease this operations heavy process. We’ve designed a system that adapts to your recon needs seamlessly by learning your file structures & customizing the output as per your need. We use data pipelines to fetch the required files for reconciliation automatically from you on time.
Steps to recon
Data Import: Data can be uploaded or files can be directly configured to an email id which will be picked up by our service thus reducing manual intervention here.
Recon summary view: The summary view highlights cumulative differences as well as transactions which are contributing to the difference.
Actionables: Finance team can easily identify duplicates and transaction mismatches and initiate action on them. Possible actions can be:
- Status Mismatch — Raise with Payment partner team in case a transaction is a success but the settlement is missing OR Initiate refunds for transactions where the order has not been fulfilled but the amount has been settled
- Amount Mismatch — The tool also highlights mismatch in transaction amount or transaction fee amount and this can be raised with the PG team too directly from the dashboard