What is a Virtual Terminal?

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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87% of the UK population made online purchases in 2020 (Statista report). Whenever you purchase goods online, you are directed to a payment checkout page to complete the transaction. Whilst customers see a checkout page, merchants see a virtual terminal. In this article, we discuss all about virtual terminals, including the types of virtual terminals available and their characteristics.  

 

What is a Virtual Terminal?

A virtual terminal is a webpage that enables merchants to insert payment information on behalf of their customers. Think of a physical terminal at a shop- merchants use an online system to insert the type of product you want to purchase, the amounts, offers and extras. This helps them to calculate the total amount to pay, to keep the product inventory in check, and also to give your customers more details about their order. Once the merchant is done adding all the information, customers can insert their card into the card reader and finalise the payment.

Much like a physical terminal, a virtual terminal is a webpage that merchants can use it to add information about the order, to charge customers and even to create recurring payments. However, when doing this virtually, merchants are also responsible for adding the payee’s details and therefore initiating the payment (with the customer’s consent). In this case, customers provide the merchant with their payment details and agree to being charged beforehand.

These types of platforms may also connect to your accounting software and other payment tools, making for more optimised operations. They are ideal for B2C businesses that operate online and require remote billing.   

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Types of virtual terminals

The most common type of virtual terminal is a webpage where merchants log into their accounts from an internet browser, either using their mobile phones or computer (Windows or Mac). However, virtual terminals can also be accessed through apps on a smartphone or tablet, or through a screen on a physical card machine. In some case, you may be able to use your terminal both virtually and in-person. This depends on the payment provider/s you choose to connect with. Your PSP will give you access to a virtual terminal, which you can then use in multiple ways (through a web page and app, for instance).

 

Virtual terminals characteristics

Firstly, the customer/cardholder needs to express consent for that payment. This is particularly important when using virtual terminals, because merchants are responsible for initiating the payment. Not only do customers need to agree to the transaction, there also needs to be tracked record of these communications. If merchants can’t prove that the customer has agreed to that payment, they may have to refund the customer if a chargeback occurs. Since customers aren’t the ones to manually insert their details and initiate the payment, chargebacks pose a bigger risk.

Virtual terminals also involve stricter security rules, as keyed payments are more prone to fraud. In a few words, keyed payments are card-not-present transactions in which merchants don’t have the physical card with them, but they have the keys to the card number, expiration date and other codes. This type of payment runs a higher risk of fraud because the person initiating the payment isn’t the cardholder, nor do they have access to the physical card.

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Usually merchants are requested to comply with PCI-DSS regulations, which may come with additional costs. However, most PSPs are already PCI-compliant. Transaction fees may be higher than other types of online or in-person transactions because of the higher risk of fraud. This is something that you need to check with your PSPs, as each payment provider charges differently.  Overall, the main difference between virtual terminals and other online payments is that, through virtual terminals, merchants initiate the payment on their own screen, and customers don’t have access to it.

 

How Imburse can help

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

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Guide to payment processing fees

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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When customers make payments, whether online or in-person, they don’t pay any direct fees to the merchant or their bank. However, payments processing actually incurs a wide range of costs for merchants, so it is important to be aware of them. In this article, we provide a breakdown of the main fees involved in payment processing.

Interchange fees

Every payment that uses a card network (like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex) will involve an interchange fee. Interchange fees cover the costs of payment processing for the issuing bank, processor, gateway, card network, and acquiring bank (or merchant’s bank). They are paid by the merchant on a per-transaction basis. Though there are a lot of payment players involved in this fee, merchants often only see a single interchange fee being taken out of each transaction.

The interchange fee varies based on various factors, including changing interest rates, how risky the transaction is, or simply depending on the card network or country. They can go from 0.2% to 2% of each transaction. Other matters that may influence how the interchange fee is calculated are:

  • CNP vs CP transactions

Card-Present transactions (meaning payments initiated at a Point-of-Sale, physical shop) usually have less risk of fraud, and therefore have lower interchange rates than CNP transactions (any online payment where the card is not physically present).

  • Commercial vs Personal cards

Business debit or credit cards often come with higher interchange rates than personal/individual cards. This doesn’t affect the card owner, only the merchant who is charged a higher fee.

  • National vs Cross-border transactions

Domestic A2A payments are those where both the issuing bank and acquiring bank are based in the same country. For example, if you are a UK resident purchasing from a UK-based business, this is considered a domestic transaction. Domestic payments are usually cheaper than international payments and incur smaller interchange fees.

Card networks are responsible for updating this fee, and they are non-negotiable. Visa and Mastercard, for instance, update their interchange fees twice a year, in April and October, and these changes are public and easily accessible. American Express, on the other hand, doesn’t publish its fees online. Issuing and acquiring banks have no control over the interchange fee- this matter is solely the responsibility of card networks.

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Assessment fees

Assessment fees are paid directly to the card networks. They are charged on the merchant’s total monthly sales done through each card network. For instance, Amex would charge a set percentage of the merchant’s monthly sales done with Amex cards. The current assessment fees for all card networks range between 0.13% and 0.15%, though these numbers may be updated at any time.

Payment processing fees

In addition to the interchange and assessment fees, payment processors also charge their own fees for processing payments. These fees cover the costs of running and updating software, technical support, operations, and billing, amongst many others. These fees may vary widely depending on the processor merchants choose, as well as the added services and functionalities they offer. Some added functionalities could be reporting analytics, 24/7 technical support, and acceptance of a wider range of payment methods. The fee may also vary depending on the size of the business and the volume of payments that need to be processed.

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Merchant account fees

Every business needs a merchant account to receive payments. Essentially, a merchant account is a business bank account that enables merchants to take payments from customers, as this can’t be done with a regular individual bank account. Businesses can apply for a merchant account with any acquiring bank. The merchant acquiring bank usually charges a per-transaction fee to the merchants. Alongside the per-transaction fee, acquiring banks may also request a fixed monthly fee to cover potential risks with payments, as well as the daily operational costs of settling payments.

About Imburse

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

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What is a Standing Order?

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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There are multiple situations in which we need to transfer money on a regular basis. Rent and utility bills may be the most common ones, but recurring payments are also equally popular to pay contractors, freelancers or suppliers. In this article, we discuss what is a standing order, how it works and what it can be used for.

 

Meaning of standing order

A standing order is a automated method of making payments on a recurring, fixed basis. When you set up a standing order, the payments are automatically taken from your account on the agreed day and at the agreed frequency. The payer has full control over the standing order, so payers are the only ones that can cancel or amend it. For instance, if you have to pay a supplier for their services on a monthly basis, and the rates and hours of work are the same every month, you could set up a standing order to avoid missed or delayed payments. Standing orders can have a fixed duration, but they can also be permanent. Payers are able to cancel them at any time. 

 

What are standing orders used for?

Standing orders are recurring payments, therefore used for repeated sales rather than one-off purchases. This could be rent, utility bills, subscriptions, regular charity donations, freelancers or contractors’ salaries or even adding money to your savings account. The examples are various, but they all have one thing in common: these are payments that payers make on a recurring basis.

Freelancers may use standing orders to get paid from their various clients, as they provide services on an ongoing basis. If they have a fixed rate and fixed work schedule, they are able to determine how much they need to get paid and the frequency of the payment. Standing orders are quick to set up, and a great way to avoid missing payments, especially when there’s a specific due date for them.

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How to set up a standing order

Standing orders can only be set up by the customer and owner of the bank account. Companies can’t set up standing orders themselves – the customers must do this directly with their bank, either at a branch or online via their banking app. Equally, customers are the only ones who have the power to manage how much money they send and to whom.

When setting up a standing order, they will be requested to provide information regarding the amount of money they would like to send, the payee’s bank details and the frequency of the standing order (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc). Customers may also be able to provide a payment reference and an end date for the standing order. When this information is provided, the recurring payments will cease on this date.

 

What’s the difference between a standing order and a direct debit?

Both a standing order and direct debit work on a recurring basis. This means that the contract is ongoing and automated, so the amounts of money are taken directly from the accounts on the dates that were initially set.

However, as opposed to standing orders, direct debits are set up by the payee. Companies will set up the payees’ bank details, amounts to be paid, as well as frequency of the payment. Payees have to agree to this direct debit contract beforehand. Though payees are able to request cancellation of this contract whenever they wish, only the payer can directly cancel or amend it.   Standing orders, on the other hand, are set up and fully controlled by the payer. The payer is the only person that can amend or cancel them.  

In short, the payer needs to authorise both standing orders and direct debits. However, with standing orders, the payer is requesting their bank to make payments to other person or organisation on a recurring basis and a set frequency. With direct debits, the payer is requesting their bank to allow a company to take money from their account.

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How to cancel a standing order

If you don’t specify an end date for the standing order, the payments will be ongoing until you manually cancel it. Payers can do this easily either by visiting a branch, through the bank’s website or through their mobile banking app. Standing orders can be cancelled at any time. However, if a payment is due on the date you wish to cancel the standing order, you may still have to make this payment. It is important to notify the payee that the standing order will be cancelled, or else they will be expecting the payment still and you may have to find other ways to pay.   

 

How Imburse can help

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

 

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PCI DSS Compliance Checklist

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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As payment digitalisation becomes more popular than ever, private information and payment data is also more likely to be compromised. These risks don’t concern financial institutions solely, but any company that handles card data. The PCI DSS is a crucial set of standards, established to prevent and reduce fraud whilst ensuring cardholders’ protection. In this article, we discuss what is the PCI DSS, its objectives and requirements.   

 

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) is a set of information security standards developed by the PCI Security Standard Council in 2006. It aims to reduce card payment fraud risk and protect cardholder data. This set of standards are mandatory for any company that requires or handles card data and personal information, regardless of company size, the number of transactions or amount of data it collects. The PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) is an independent body composed of the main card payment brands, which include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Payment security is taken very seriously by customers, so payment fraud can truly damage a company’s reputation. PCI DSS plays an important role in providing companies with the right guidance when it comes to security systems and tools. Compliance with this standards is therefore crucial to ensure that all tools are in place to authenticate and monitor payment and customer data and to prevent and mitigate fraud risks.

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What are the PCI Compliance levels?

There are four merchant levels, determined by the number of transactions that companies perform each year. The different levels still have to comply to the same requirements. However, the main difference between them is that level 1 is required to get an on-site external audit, performed either by a QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) or an ISA (Internal Security Assessor). This external auditor then has to submit an RoC (Report on Compliance) to the company’s acquiring banks. Companies in levels 2 to 4 don’t need an external auditor, and can complete a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) themselves. Level 2 companies must also complete a Report on Compliance.

PCI levels are defined by:

  • Level 1: Merchants with over 6 million transactions annually, or any merchant that has had a data breach
  • Level 2: Merchants with between 1 to 6 million transactions annually, across all channels
  • Level 3: Merchants with between 20,000 and 1 million online transactions annually
  • Level 4: Merchants with fewer than 20,000 online transactions a year or any merchant processing up to 1 million regular transactions per year

 

The PCI DSS 6 goals and 12 requirements

The requirements of PCI DSS are both technical and operational, all aimed at protecting cardholder data and preventing fraud. These 12 requirements of PCI DSS are divided into 6 goals:

 

Build and Maintain a Secure Network

1. Protect your systems with firewall configuration

The first step to becoming PCI compliant is to install a firewall. This will prevent hackers from accessing your data and contribute to a much safer network overall.  

2. Do not use vendor-supplied default settings

These default settings include passwords and other details that are pre-configured by vendors. Default settings are easier to hack, so they put your organisation at an incredibly high risk of vulnerability.

 

Protect Cardholder Data

3. Protect stored cardholder data

This section details how companies can protect stored cardholder data, including encryption, and how data should be displayed when needed.

4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

This requirement aims at ensuring that data is safe when being moved across networks. This includes encrypting data and making sure that the recipient has a valid security certificate.

 

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

5. Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programmes

Anti-virus software needs to be frequently updated and it needs to cover all known malware. Companies also need to maintain a list of procedures that check for the effectiveness of the anti-virus software used.

6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Similarly to updating your anti-virus software programme, keeping all security systems and applications updated prevents the increase of vulnerabilities.

 

Implement Strong Access Control Measures

7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know

Access to cardholder data should be restricted and accessed only by those who need it to perform their jobs. There should also be defined roles and different permissions based on the information each person needs to access.

8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access

Providing each person with a unique ID enables organisations to track which information is seen or used by whom, making it easier to hold people accountable. Users should also have two-factor authentication, as recommended by the PCI DSS.

9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data

If any cardholder data is kept physically on a specific location, access to this location should be as restricted as possible, especially to those outside of the organisation. The location should also be monitored with a video camera.

 

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data

Using activity logs to track and monitor access to cardholder data enables companies to have a clearer view of how data is being used and act faster should it be compromised.

11. Regularly test security systems and processes

Testing security systems and processes regularly enables companies to ensure that their procedures and security tools are working efficiently.

 

Maintain an Information Security Policy

12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

This requirement includes establishing company policies that address all security components and applications, as well as all possible vulnerabilities.

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Imburse can deliver a fully Level 1 PCI compliant solution whilst offering a truly payment provider agnostic ecosystem and highly customizable user interfaces and journeys. Imburse is PCI Level 1 compliant, delivering a suite of services and features that suit a wide set of needs in the enterprise world.

 

About Imburse

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

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What is ISO27001?

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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Financial services companies are facing a worryingly increasing number of cyber-attacks and data breaches. In fact, only in the first half of 2021, the banking industry saw a 1318% increase in ransomware attacks (Trend Micro). It is estimated that cyberattacks on banks from 2020 onwards will result in a loss of $347 billion. The insurance industry follows closely with a loss of $305 billion (Accenture report).  

It is now more relevant than ever that companies ensure that all private information is handled securely. The ISO27001 certification is a way for organisations to formalise their processes and prove that they are handling data in a secure way. In this article, we explain what ISO27001 is, how it works and its importance for companies.  

 

Meaning of ISO27001

ISO27001 is an international standard for information security management. It is composed by a set of policies and guidelines that help companies in any industry to better protect their information assets. Over time it has become the de facto measurement of the degree to which an organisation takes information security seriously.

The Information Security Management System (ISMS)  is a framework which defines an approach to implementing information security controls based on a clear understanding of objectives and risk levels. This enables adopters of the standard to set well-considered policies and procedures that can help prevent security breaches and mitigate security risks.

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ISO27001 was published jointly by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), two organisations known for developing international standards. As ISO27001 is a requirements standard, it is possible to become certified to it. This involves a third party certification body carrying out an audit to verify the implementation of the standard.

This certification is useful because it provides other organisations with assurance that the standard has been implemented correctly. Although ISO27001 certification is not mandatory, it has a number of benefits for companies that wish to build trust and assure their clients and partners of strong information security processes.

 

How does ISO27001 work?

The ISMS consists of a number of basic building blocks including the establishment of a set of policies, the definition of clear information security objectives, ongoing risk assessment, monitoring and reviews. It starts with an initial review of potential security risks, followed by the definition of processes that can prevent or mitigate each risk. The main purpose of ISO27001 is therefore to improve risk management by discovering which risks are there and implementing policies and solutions to increase security. Naturally, each company faces different risks, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all set of solutions.

Technically, ISO27001 is divided into two parts: a set of 11 clauses and the Annex A. Clauses 0 to 3 include Introduction, Scope, Normative References and Terms and Definitions, and clauses 4 to 10 include the mandatory requirements to become ISO27001 certified, broadly these cover the following key areas:

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Annex A forms an integral part of ISO27001 and includes a list of practices that enable companies to better manage their security risks. These aren’t mandatory to follow, they simply serve as guidance and can be applied to different business scopes.

 

Why is ISO27001 important?

Though ISO27001 isn’t mandatory, is it still an internationally recognised standard. This means that companies that do have the ISO27001 certification can prove to their clients and partners that their data is protected. Furthermore, it also shows that companies have the necessary processes in place to react appropriately should there be any kind of data breach. This helps to build trust between companies and clients. Not only is ISO27001 important to protect clients’ personal data, but the organisation’s own data too including that of employees, suppliers and partners.

 

How can companies get their ISO27001 certification?

The requirements for being ISO27001 compliant are addressed in clauses 4.1 to 10.2, as well as in Annex A. Companies need to be audited by an external accredited body and, if the audit is successful, this external organisation will provide them with the certificate. You can find more information about the ISO27001:2013 certification and its requirements on their official website.

At Imburse, we care deeply about our clients and are committed to the security of our data. For this reason we decided to implement an ITSM that follows the ISO27001 framework and successfully obtained certification in April 2021.

 

About Imburse

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

 

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What are Account-to-Account payments?

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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Account-to-account payments have been around for a long time, traditionally used to schedule recurring bills. However, Open Banking has brought about new opportunities that are reshaping the potential of A2A, and making it more popular than ever. Whether you have heard about A2A payments before or are new to this designation, it is worth knowing a little bit about this payment type. In this article, we explain what are A2A payments, the different types of A2A payments, their benefits and how they have changed in the last few years.

Account-to-account payments meaning

Account-to-account (A2A) payments are payments sent directly from the payer’s to the payee’s account through instant payment networks. This type of payment doesn’t require intermediaries or payment instruments such as bank cards. Traditionally, these are considered bank-to-bank payments and have been around for a long time. However, the term A2A now includes not only transfers between bank accounts, but also between digital wallets.

Types of Account-to-account payments

There are two main types of A2A payments: Push and Pull. Their differences are based on who triggers the payment. Let’s check:

Push payments

Push payments are one-off payments sent directly from the payer. The payer is “pushing” money from their bank account to another account, so the action is triggered by the payer. This could be a bank transfer, invoice payment or instant payment. It is typically used for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions (sending money between friends), but it can also be used for customers to pay directly to a company, or even for companies to pay payroll direct deposits to their employees.

Pull payments

In pull payments, the payee “pulls” the money out of the payer’s account. These are typically recurring payments and are common for businesses with subscription models. Customers agree to be charged on an ongoing, recurring basis until they decide to end the contract. Once the agreement has been made, customer don’t need to manually send any payments- the money is automatically pulled from their accounts on the agreed date.

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How Open Banking is transforming A2A payments  

Open Banking refers to a series of reforms in the banking industry that promote interoperability between financial services institutions and other third-parties. It involves the sharing of data between different companies via APIs (Application Programme Interfaces). These APIs enable software applications to connect to each other and exchange data, making it easier for companies to access information and improve user experience.

When applied to A2A payments, Open Banking enables consumers to pay to other accounts at the point of purchase, much like card payments. Because customers can make an A2A payment through the banking app they already use, they won’t need to insert extra information, making the process seamless and fast. Aside from their banking app, customers can also use their digital wallets to make A2A payments. Digital wallets have become increasingly popular across the globe, mostly for being more convenient than traditional cards. Customers can also use A2A payments for any regular subscription, bill or purchase.

Advantages of account-to-account payments

Powered by Open Banking and the numerous opportunities it raises, A2A have great advantages for both customers and merchants. Here are some of these advantages:

Frictionless experience

Customer can make a A2A payment without needing to add extra personal information or card details. A2A payments are also direct and require no intermediaries, making it much faster and easier to transfer money. This translates into a frictionless payment experience for customers, who are already expecting a fast and effective experience when paying out.

Lower costs

A2A payments are processed through national clearing systems, such as the BACS system in the UK. Because there are no other players involved in the payment processing, such as gateways and PSPs, A2A payments incur less fees than, for example, card payments. The inexpensiveness of A2A payments are a great advantage for merchants, who can lower their costs and keep a higher percentage of their sales.

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Meeting customer needs

Customer demand has shifted towards more convenient alternatives. In the UK, over two-thirds of adults used online banking for their regular banking activities in 2020 (UK Finance report). Not only are customers looking for less time-consuming and simpler ways to pay, they are also increasingly concerned with security. The versatility and ease of A2A payments could meet a lot of what customers are looking for.

How Imburse can help

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

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Die Vereinfachung der Zahlungsintegration für Corporates

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Endkunden sind es durch jahrelange Erfahrungen im Onlinehandel gewohnt, komfortable Bezahlverfahren wie Kreditkarten, PayPal oder Apple Pay zu nutzen. Diese Kundenerwartung dehnt sich auch auf die Versicherungsbranche aus. Die Integration verschiedener Zahlungsmethoden bringt jedoch einige Herausforderungen mit sich die es zu bewältigen gibt. In dem heutigen Artikel stellt das FinTech Imburse vor wie Versicherungen die Zahlungsintegration mit Payments Middleware Plattform vereinfachen können, um damit den spezifischen Kundenbedürfnissen gerecht zu werden.

Die digitale Transformation beschäftigt aktuell nahezu alle Branchen. Die Investitionen in die digitale Transformation werden bis 2023 voraussichtlich 6,8 Billionen US-​Dollar erreichen (IDC-​Bericht). Das Thema Digitalisierung wurde auch von großen Versicherern und Finanzdienstleistern aufgegriffen, die sich neben einer Neuausrichtung ihrer Geschäftsmodelle auch stark auf die Verbesserung der Kundenerfahrung, die Einführung neuer Produkte und die Modernisierung ihrer Systeme und Prozesse konzentrieren. Der Zahlungsverkehr ist dabei eine Kernkompetenz, die in all diesen Bereichen zum Tragen kommt. Das langsame Tempo in den Unternehmen und die sich schnell ändernden Kundenpräferenzen erhöhen den Druck, sich schnell weiterzuentwickeln und anzupassen. Es existieren jedoch mehrere Hindernisse, die Unternehmen daran hindern, die Digitalisierung und Modernisierung wirklich umzusetzen. Eines dieser Hindernisse liegt in der Schwierigkeit, die Zahlungsanforderungen des Unternehmens flexibel zu verwalten und zu erfüllen.

Unternehmen geben bis zu 7 % ihres Jahresumsatzes für Zahlungen aus, einschließlich der Gebühren für die Zahlungsabwicklung. Was wäre, wenn wir bis zu 40 % dieser Kosten einsparen und gleichzeitig den Umsatz steigern könnten?

[Oliver Werneyer, CEO Imburse]

Die Zahlungspräferenzen der Kunden sind sehr unterschiedlich und hängen von Faktoren wie Alter, Standort, Produkt und Erreichbarkeit ab. So ist zum Beispiel die Kreditkarte die bevorzugte Zahlungsmethode für ältere Generationen, während junge Verbraucher lieber alternative Zahlungsmethoden nutzen, um Geld zu erhalten. Um ein optimales Zahlungserlebnis zu bieten und den spezifischen Kundenbedürfnissen gerecht zu werden, sollten die Versicherer eine breite Palette von Zahlungsmethoden anbieten.

 

Die Herausforderung in der Integration mehrerer Zahlungsmethoden

Die Integration eines einzigen Zahlungsanbieter bedeutet, dass Versicherer und Finanzdienstleister in ihren Möglichkeiten sehr eingeschränkt sind. Sie sind  auf die Zahlungsarten beschränkt die ihnen der Zahlungsanbieter anbietet und haben nur begrenzte Möglichkeiten ihr Angebot zu erweitern oder zu erneuern. Um die individuellen Bedürfnisse der Kunden in verschiedenen Märkten erfüllen zu können, können Versicherer daher mehrere Zahlungsanbieter integrieren und verbinden, um eine Vielzahl von Zahlungsmethoden und die notwendigen Funktionen anbieten zu können. Die Integration mehrerer Zahlungsanbieter ist jedoch eine komplexe, ressourcenintensive und langwierige Angelegenheit, die Unternehmen aktiv zu vermeiden versuchen. Langsame Integrationen hindern Unternehmen daran, Optionen anzubieten, die den Kundenerwartungen entsprechen, und bremsen Innovationen aus.

 

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Neben langen Lieferzeiten bringen diese Integrationen ein hohes Maß an Komplexität im Zahlungsverkehr mit sich. Der Zahlungsverkehr ist für jedes Unternehmen von entscheidender Bedeutung, wird aber kaum als Kernkompetenz angesehen. Dies führt zu einem deutlichen Defizit an Fachwissen im Zahlungsverkehr und zu unzureichenden internen Ressourcen, um die Zahlungsverkehrsfunktionen intern zu verwalten. Dies zwingt Unternehmen dazu, teure Spezialressourcen für den Zahlungsverkehr einzukaufen, was aber nicht der einzige Kostentreiber bei der Integration ist.

Nach Angaben von Imburse kostet die Integration eines neuen Zahlungsdienstleisters ein Unternehmen durchschnittlich 200.000 bis 300.000 € und kann leicht 4 bis 12 Monate in Anspruch nehmen. Der Mangel an Zeit und Ressourcen, sowie die hohen Kosten, zwingen Unternehmen dazu, Kompromisse einzugehen und sich in der Regel für einen einzigen Zahlungsanbieter zu entscheiden. Dies schränkt ihre Fähigkeit ein die Kundenerwartungen zu erfüllen, hindert sie daran eine erstklassige Kundenerfahrung zu bieten und hemmt die betrieblichen Effizienzsteigerungen. Es liegt zudem in der Natur des Zahlungsverkehrs, dass es für Unternehmen sehr schwierig ist, lokale oder geografisch spezifische Zahlungslösungen anzubieten.

 

Die Herausforderungen der Zahlungsdigitalisierung

Leider endet die Komplexität der Digitalisierung des Zahlungsverkehrs nicht mit der Integration verschiedener Anbieter. Allein der Betrieb und die Wartung der Zahlungsverkehrsinfrastruktur sind mit großen Hürden und hohen Kosten für alle Unternehmensfunktionen verbunden. So ist bereits die Wartung des Zahlungssystems für die operativen Betriebsteams sehr ressourcenintensiv. Die manuelle Berichterstellung ist eine mühsame und zeitaufwändige Aufgabe, die viele Ressourcen erfordert. Die fehlende Transparenz der Transaktionsdetails erschwert die Nachverfolgung von Zahlungen, was zu potenziellen Verzögerungen und einer höheren Fehlertoleranz führt. Ein vollständig digitalisiertes Berichts-​ und Transaktionsüberwachungssystem ermöglicht es den Finanzteams, die volle Kontrolle über ihre Daten zu behalten und leichter auf auftretende Zahlungsprobleme zu reagieren.

Verschiedene andere Aspekte, mit denen sich die Versicherer schwertun, sind unter anderem:

  • Einführung neuer Produkte: Die Ausweitung des bestehenden Produktangebots oder die Einführung neuer Lösungen, um mehr Kunden zu gewinnen und die Einnahmen zu steigern, ist in der Regel mit einem erheblichen Ressourcenbedarf verbunden
  • Verbessern der Kundenerfahrung: Das Übertreffen von Kundenerwartungen und die Bereitstellung erstklassiger Kundenerfahrungen zur Maximierung der Kundenwertwahrnehmung ist angesichts der Auswirkungen auf die internen Ressourcen und des mangelnden Zugangs zu den richtigen Fachkenntnissen schwer zu realisieren.
  • Redundanz und Verlässlichkeit: Aufteilung des Risikos auf mehrere PSPs, um Ausfallzeiten zu vermeiden und SLAs zu verwalten
  • Geografische Expansion: Notwendigkeit, auf neue Märkte zu expandieren oder inländische Abwicklungsanforderungen zu erfüllen, die die derzeitigen Zahlungsanbieter nicht erfüllen können
  • Anwendungsfälle für Zahlungen: Verwaltung einer Vielzahl von Zahlungsvorgängen, die mit dem bestehenden PSP nicht möglich sind (Einzahlung, Auszahlung, Treue, Schecks, SWIFT usw.)
  • Operative Effizienz: Schwierigkeiten bei der Bewältigung des hohen operativen Aufwands für die Zahlungs-​ und Finanzoperationen.
  • Einhaltung von Vorschriften und Daten: Speicherung und Sicherung von Daten über Länder und Regionen hinweg bei gleichzeitiger Einhaltung von Zahlungsverkehrs-​ und Datenschutzbestimmungen
  • Interoperabilität des Kernstapels: Interoperabilität von Zahlungsmöglichkeiten und Kundenoptionen mit Kernsystemen

 

Die Lösung – Payments Middleware Plattform

Um großen Unternehmen dabei zu helfen, Zeit und Geld bei der Bewältigung dieser komplexen Aufgaben zu sparen, hat sich eine neue Kategorie von Zahlungslösungen entwickelt: die Payment Middleware Plattform (PMP).

Mit einer Payments Middleware Plattform können Unternehmen über eine einzige API-​Integration auf jeden Zahlungsanbieter und jede Zahlungsmethode zugreifen – und dies für Inkasso & Exkasso. Dadurch müssen sie die exorbitanten Kosten und die Komplexität, die mit der Integration von Zahlungsanbietern verbunden sind, nicht internalisieren und können sich gleichzeitig auf ihre Kerntätigkeiten konzentrieren.  Abbildung 2 zeigt, wie ein großer Versicherer eine solche Plattform nicht nur zur Weiterleitung von Transaktionen an beliebige Zahlungsanbieter nutzen kann, sondern auch zur Koordinierung, Automatisierung und Optimierung anderer Aspekte im Zusammenhang mit Zahlungen, die mit der komplexen Unternehmensstruktur zusammenhängen (z. B. lokale Einheiten, Geschäftszweige). Dies reicht von der Personalisierung des Kunden-​Checkouts über Web-​Integrationen und mobile SDKs bis hin zur Optimierung von Backend-​Prozessen mit einer einheitlichen Berichtsquelle, Analyse-​Suite und Workflow-​Engine.

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Mit einer Middleware-​Plattform für den Zahlungsverkehr wie Imburse können große Versicherer und Finanzdienstleistungsunternehmen ihr Geschäft zukunftssicher machen und von den folgenden Vorteilen profitieren:

 

Nahtlose Zahlungserfahrung

Die Kundenbedürfnisse unterscheiden sich während der gesamten Customer Journey und in den verschiedenen Kundensegmenten. Unternehmen müssen in der Lage sein, jede beliebige Zahlungstechnologie anzubieten und sie nahtlos in die Customer Journey einzubetten, sowohl für das Inkasso als auch für die Auszahlung. Durch eine einzige Verbindung zu einer Payments Middleware Plattform können Unternehmen jede Zahlungsmethode anbieten und verarbeiten und somit ihren Kunden ein reibungsloses Zahlungserlebnis bieten.

 

Geschäftsflexibilität und schnelle Markteinführung

Entlang der Abschlussstrecke eines Produkts angebotene Zahlungsmethoden sind je nach Markt unterschiedlich stark gefragt. Auch werden nicht alle Zahlungsmethoden von jedem Zahlungsanbieter offeriert. Zahlungsanbieter innerhalb von Minuten und nicht Monaten hinzuzufügen oder zu wechseln um auf sich rasch ändernde Marktnachfragen reagieren zu können adressiert diese Herausforderung. Eine Payments Middleware Plattform ermöglicht es Unternehmen, schnell zu reagieren, die verfügbaren Zahlungsoptionen entsprechend den Präferenzen ihrer Kunden zu ändern und das Risiko von Umsatzeinbußen aufgrund von Ausfallzeiten des Anbieters zu minimieren. Da die Unternehmen nur einmal eine Verbindung herstellen müssen, können sie schnell neue Versicherungsprodukte einführen oder neue Kundensegmente ansprechen, da alle relevanten Zahlungsanbieter sofort verfügbar sind.

 

Geringere IT-​Kosten

Durch die Anbindung an das Zahlungsverkehrsökosystem über eine Payments Middleware Plattform können Unternehmen die Gesamtbetriebskosten für den Zahlungsverkehr um mindestens 40 % senken, was zu erheblichen Einsparungen und zur Freisetzung von Ressourcen in den IT-, Betriebs-​ und Zahlungsteams führt (Quelle: Imburse). Payments Middleware-​Plattformen wie Imburse verfügen über eine einzige Zahlungs-​API und eine einheitliche Schnittstelle für den Check-​Out. Somit können Unternehmen die neuen Zahlungsoptionen einfach und schnell anpassen und integrieren. Mit einer Payments Middleware Plattform können sich globale Unternehmen zukunftssicher machen, indem sie gesetzliche Rahmenbedingungen wie PCI DSS und ISO20022 einhalten und neue Technologien wie 3DS2.0 und Open Banking ohne zusätzliche Kosten oder Aufwand einführen.

 

Operative Effizienz

Durch die Integration mit einer Payments Middleware Plattform können Unternehmen ihre internen Ressourcen effizienter einsetzen und sich auf ihre Kerngeschäftsaktivitäten konzentrieren. Versicherungs-​ und Finanzdienstleistungsunternehmen können Einsparungen bei der Prozesseffizienz erzielen, indem sie das einheitliche Transaktionsreporting der Payments Middleware Plattform über alle Zahlungsmethoden hinweg nutzen und so den Aufwand für das Transaktionsreporting und den Abgleich offener Posten erleichtern. Durch die Anbindung über eine Payments Middleware Plattform sind große Unternehmen nicht mehr an einen einzigen Zahlungsanbieter gebunden. Sie können neue Zahlungsmethoden einführen, Gutscheine als Auszahlungen anbieten oder neue Zahlungsanbieter einbinden, um die Gebühren zu senken, ohne große Integrationsprojekte durchführen zu müssen.

Die Bedeutung des Zahlungsverkehrs als wichtiger Werttreiber für Versicherungen kann nicht unterschätzt werden. Er ist für jedes Unternehmen von zentraler Bedeutung, unterstützt er doch bei Kosteneinsparungen, der Markteinführung neuer Produkte bis hin zur Umsetzung neuer Innovationen . Die Integration eines strategischen Technologiepartners kann hierbei die Integration mehrerer Zahlungsanbieter vermeiden. Payments Middleware Plattformen konzentrieren sich darauf, die Anbindung von Unternehmen an das globale Zahlungsverkehrsökosystem für In- und Exkasso zu vereinfachen. Der Zahlungsverkehr wird so zum Enabler neuer Innovationen und einem wichtigen Werttreiber für das Unternehmen.

An diesem Artikel haben mitgewirkt: Ewoud Clerkx (Imburse), Michael Sharp (Imburse), Shaul Lifshitz (Imburse), Thomas Haas (msg GillardonBSM), Jan Haas (msg GillardonBSM).

Mehr Informationen zu Imburse findest du auf: https://www.imbursepayments.com/

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How to streamline claims operations

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By Mariana Almeida Marques

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Insurers face increasing pressure to optimise and simplify their claims operations systems. The digitalisation boost and the rise of InsurTechs across the globe puts traditional insurers in a complicated position with only one way forward: to rapidly change how they pay out to customers. In this article, we discuss some of the ways in which insurance companies can streamline their claims operations to meet and exceed customer expectations.

 

Update and define your strategy

There is a long way between verifying a claim, settling it and paying out to customers. This complex process is also very much paper-based and highly dependent on human resources. So, before deploying new technology, is it worth looking at the actual changes that you want to put in place. Accurate documentation of instructions and best practices serves as a backbone that your teams will be able to rely on whenever they are handling claims.

Standardized processes mean that every customer claim will be dealt with in a similar way, so there is less room for error. It also generates consistency across departments, making claims handling more predictable and easier to manage. So, when updating your strategy, ensure that all your documentation is accurate and descriptive, and that it is shared with everyone in the team. It is also crucial that these documents are easily accessible to all team members.

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Deploy the right technology

Deploying new technology is the not-so-secret ingredient that makes businesses in every industry flourish. It also isn’t an option anymore, but rather a condition to thrive in a market that is increasingly digitalised and automated. However, the trick isn’t to simply deploy the latest technology available, but to deploy the technology that truly suits business’s needs.

Having the right technology tools that can integrate with other systems will facilitate the storage and accessibility of information. Being able to receive and update data in real time also enables insurers to act faster and ensure accuracy. Lastly, strong analytics and reporting tools are key to making more informed decisions. These are some of the crucial factors to consider when deploying new technology for your claims management system.

 

Focus on payment delivery

Payments is a critical component of the claims journey, and one that is often neglected. Aside from a smooth and simple claim handling process, customers want to get paid quickly and in their preferred payment methods. A paper cheque, for instance, is bound to make customers unsatisfied with the claims resolution, as it is much more impractical than other digital methods. Therefore, it is important to consider how you can update your payment offering taking into account your customers’ particularities (for instance, their locations).

[/et_pb_text]Insurers must be able to offer a wide variety of payment methods.[et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.9.2″ _module_preset=”default” text_font=”Lato||||||||” text_text_color=”#000000″ header_font=”Lato||||||||” header_text_color=”#000000″ header_font_size=”24px” header_2_font=”Lato||||||||” header_2_text_color=”#000000″ header_2_font_size=”24px” header_3_font=”Lato||||||||” header_3_text_color=”#000000″ header_3_font_size=”24px” inline_fonts=”Lato”]

Ideally, you should be able to offer a wide range of payment methods that cover all of your customers needs. Connecting to a SaaS provider like Imburse will allow you to deploy any payment provider and method in any market. This means that you can not only exceed customer expectations and provide them with an optimal payment experience, but also have the flexibility to change providers whenever the business needs.

 

How Imburse can help

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using a variety of payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

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