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Credit card reconciliation! The unknown Problem

Not many credit card acquirers are aware of the fact that their customers might have a problem with the reconciliation of their transactions. Very few acquirers offer a decent solution that really helps the merchant to get control of his financial flows. A lot of acquirers actually do think they have a valuable solution and offer some transaction files that can be downloaded electronically. But usually merchants are not happy with this. A lot of time crucial data is missing in these files.

Since we have a lot of customers (merchants) we help getting their credit card transactions reconciled, we can tell you what a merchant wants: The merchant wants to reconcile his sales with the payments to the bank. Simple and easy. But in the case of credit cards it is not that simple and easy. To build a relation or match-criteria between sales data and bank payments you need the data of the acquirer. Therefore acquirers offer files like EPA (electronic payment advice) or likewise. But no acquirer thinks of having match criteria embedded into this data. Therefore most of these files are worthless.

Bigger merchants usually have several acquirers. They need to load several files in different formats with different security mechanisms from different locations. That's where the nightmare starts. And even if only a few acquirers are involved, finding the relation of a sales transaction and a bank payment is still a time consuming task that sometimes even includes the manual checking of all paper receipts of a cash register on a praticular day. The cost for the merchant to operate such a process is gigantic.

We can highly recommend to any acquirer to build a good transaction database for merchants and give them easy access to this data. That way, if a large merchant incorporates this data feed into his ERP systems, the merchant is hocked to the acquirer and a long and good relationship between them is almost guaranteed.

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