April 25, 2012 How to Make Merchant Processing Reconciliation Optimal by Nicolo Nisbett Follow this author on Twitter Read other articles by the same author I recently penned a blog about how we have helped a number of clients recently with their accounts receivable cash allocation using the ReconArt™ Total Reconciliation Lifecycle™ solution. Soon after it posted, I woke up one morning realizing that the same was true for merchant processing. Suddenly, in the last three or four months, we have had a large constituency of existing and prospective clients looking to use exactly the same product to help with the reconciliation of their credit card and other merchant accounts – some on-line, others relating to telephone payments, yet more processed in a physical retail store. There’s a common theme. There are always multiple platforms and processing systems – both internal and external – involved in the processing of payments: an internal ERP or core order entry system, a merchant gateway, files being passed form the merchant to the bank, and, of course, from the bank back to the general ledger. That constitutes lots of possible failure points. So where does a reconciliation platform come in? Basically, it provides the glue to ensure, not necessarily that the payments are actually being processed, but that they are being done so correctly. By bringing all the data into one single database, and by matching transactions at each point in the processing cycle, in an instant our clients gain an insight into any exceptions anywhere in the payment lifecycle at the click of a button. They then have the tools to deal immediately with any problems, and the ammunition to go back to third parties to get them to improve their act &/or lower their fees. Basically, our clients value the efficiencies that this drives – lowering costs, reducing errors, eliminating customer frustration when things otherwise might go wrong at some point. They love the flexibility of being able to aggregate and compare bank deposits to, for instance, credit card activity. They benefit from being able to identify, classify, book and analyze merchant fees and processing charges, and look at this alongside service level agreements to ensure best value for money. And that’s why the ReconArt™ platform ends up, at each client, delivering more and more as, over time and with a growing realization of its flexibility, they expand uses into yet another area of reconciliation and exception management processing.