As more fintech companies are looking to optimise their payment operations to allow for faster growth or reduce operational costs in a degrading macroeconomic environment, they turn to APIs to automate those operations at scale. At Numeral, we developed an API-first platform to allow such large-scale automation.
However, human oversight and intervention will always be required in these processes and the underlying data, whether to optimise payment workflows, investigate and solve incidents, answer customer support requests, or ensure easy, cross-team visibility on payments. That’s why we developed a modern dashboard on top of our API platform.
There is no such thing as 100% automated payment operations
As they evolve, payment operations solutions will natively and automatically manage more edge cases, unexpected incidents, external requirements, and ad-hoc needs always happen. It means that finance and operations teams always have to be able to understand and manually override or complete workflows. Allowing these teams to do so without intervention from technical teams makes that process much more efficient.
Investigating failed payments
For numerous internal or external reasons, payments can fail, and such failures can be unexpected and not supported by payment operations solutions. To ensure fast payment incident resolution and prevent future similar incidents, payment operations teams first need to be able to detect failed payments quickly and understand what went wrong.
For this process to be efficient, payment operations teams need alerting systems, as well as fast and easy access to failed payments and other related payments (based on counterparties, amount, type, time, etc.) to identify the root cause of the issue – be it on the bank side, in the approval flow, because of incorrect payment information, or other reasons.
Reconciling complex transactions
Payment operations also include the reconciliation of payments with bank transactions. Similarly to payments, the goal is to automate the reconciliation process as much as possible. This process is particularly error-prone as it often relies on user-entered data.
To identify and resolve failed reconciliations and improve the automated reconciliation process, accounting teams need to be notified of failed reconciliations and the ability to identify and deep dive into involved payments and transactions quickly, then reconcile them manually.
Managing funds across accounts
All money movements cannot be automated. Working capital increase, newly introduced regulations or opening a new branch are just some examples of situations requiring ad-hoc management of funds across accounts. A dashboard that gives real-time cash visibility across accounts and allows easy payments across those accounts makes those operations more efficient. Some organisations are also not ready to leave those operations to automation and want to keep control of them.
Fintech product and engineering teams have more important things to build than internal tools
As a critical component of payment automation software, building dashboards that allow the tasks described above on top of an API platform requires significant product and engineering resources.
Before even writing the first line of code, designing an interface that enables finance operations teams to perform the tasks they have to perform efficiently requires a phase of user research, understanding of the workflows, and specification.
Then comes the tedious development phase and the comprehensive testing and debugging of the interface and its API integration. Those last steps are especially critical and, therefore, resource-consuming for a tool dealing with the company’s or customers’ funds.
While mission-critical, payments automation and visibility and control of those payments aren’t the core business of most fintech companies, their engineering teams should focus on building and refining those core business capabilities.
A modern interface for modern teams
At Numeral, we aim to save the most time for finance and operations teams. It involves automating payment and reconciliation processes as much as possible and making necessary manual tasks as easy as possible. We built our API and dashboard with those principles at heart.
Finance and operations teams can already explore payments, accounts, counterparties and reconciliations, filter them, and navigate linked objects through the Numeral’s dashboard.
Product and engineering teams can use the dashboard to issue and manage API keys and webhooks, ensuring easy implementation and iteration on their company’s payment workflows, while we continuously add new features and improve existing features.
Looking further, we will add more advanced capabilities to the dashboard, including the manual creation, approval, and reconciliation of payments as well as the control of advanced approval flows via a user-friendly interface.
From better internal visibility to happier customers
Equipping payment operation teams with modern tools can have significant positive impacts on fintech companies and teams. As we’ve covered, it leads to increased efficiency for those teams, allowing them to spend more time on the most critical incidents, work on improving their processes, and also spend more time communicating with impacted customers.
Add to that faster resolution of incidents and increased transparency on the root causes of incidents on a topic as sensitive for business and consumers alike as payments, and increased visibility can lead to significant improvements in customer experience.