Automated Anomaly Detection in Payment Gateways

Enhancing customer experience in payment gateway business

Touted as the biggest sporting extravaganza in Indian cricket, the IPL season is famous not just for the tight finishes and action on the screens, but also for the action off it—for example the spike in online food orders. For instance, Swiggy reported a surge of around five to seven percent in orders during IPL season, compared to the other months (according to recent reports). Clearly, viewers did not want to miss out on any of the action, choosing to order their favorite delicacies.

The thrill of watching their favorite teams lock horns, effectively means that viewers are glued to the television, with little or no time for anything else. This seal’s the fate of delayed transactions. Orders are typically placed before a match, during breaks or timeouts – leaving a small window for the entire transaction to take place. The four important steps – choosing the menu, placing the order, entry of coupon codes and making the payments – need to complete in the shortest possible time. Delayed authentication and failed transactions can mean unhappy customers.

With an extensive choice of similar options, time pinched customers will switch to another app without hesitation. For the service provider, it is a double whammy – the abandoning of the transaction by the users, in addition to being squarely blamed for the failed transaction, despite it being a failure of the very complex and flaky payment infrastructure.

The explosive growth of smartphones and the phenomenal rise in digital payments have created a new inflection point in customer expectations. By 2022, the number of smartphone users are expected to touch 829 million while annual cashless transactions are expected to cross $1 trillion by 2025 (according to reports). Smartphone users tend to install multiple applications of the same category, choosing to cluster apps; not hesitating to choose one service over the other, in the event of a delay. It is all about the speed of a service, and especially during a game, it is often a split-second decision. Customers choose food delivery apps for convenience, and delays are the polar opposite of a customer’s expectations of convenience.

Businesses that offer services that require online payments have their task cut out here – the need to offer a seamless experience in concluding the transaction. Payment processes typically take less than 2-3 seconds, but within these three seconds, multiple actions take place to conclude the transaction safely. Encrypted transmission of transaction details, authentication, OTP generation and validation protocols, approval/denial by issuing bank, and transmission of details to acquiring bank are some of the key processes that take place in the short span of 2-3 seconds. The possibility of any action failing is high, and this depends on various reasons or combination of reasons. However, for customers, the expectations are straightforward – quick transactions. To achieve the perfect trifecta of experiences in online sales – high speed and seamless transactions that are secure – every business needs the choice of options. Merchants can pre-empt and avoid failed transactions by switching over to a different service provider – in real time, the moment an anomaly is detected.

The mechanism to switch over to a different payment gateway exists. However, the challenge is in detecting the anomalies. The numbers, the different stakeholders, and the highly sophisticated nature of processes in transactions, effectively keeps it beyond the abilities of traditional methods to detect anomalies before it manifests into a system bottleneck/failure. The solution – every business needs augmented analytics. The detection of outliers or anomalies in data through augmented analytics helps businesses detect patterns that indicate high failure rates in a payment gateway on a real time basis, offering early warning inputs of an impending failure.

Augmented analytics leverage AI and the subsets of AI – ML and Deep Learning to monitor KPIs minutely, comparing performances intelligently, looking at threshold parameters, and auto-scale infrastructure to meet additional volumes of transaction. Event-based triggers and notifications transmit real-time alerts of outages to merchants, facilitating remedial action. This helps bump up customer experience several notches by ensuring high speed transactions. Augmented analytics helps pre-empt situations from turning out into major customer dissatisfaction, by detecting anomalies and enabling corrective action on time. Millennials spearhead the digital payments and are also active on social media—it is hard to miss this connection. A dissatisfied customer is more likely to vent frustration online, damaging reputation and pushing a merchant to the bottom rungs of choice.

High speed transactions are the new normal, and in a world of multiple choices, every business needs to ensure that it does not become a second choice because of a payment gateway setback. Customer experience is a multi-dimensional construct, and merchants need to get their act together, including the all-important aspect of smooth payments. Customer frustration is bound to increase manifold, if a transaction fails after all steps leading up to the last have succeeded. With payments being the last in line, it is hard to not imagine the frustration of a customer. Augmented analytics offer merchants high speed options to stay ahead of system failures and offer a seamless, fully satisfying experience to customer, while enjoying better revenue realization.

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This article was originally published at MoneyControl.

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1 Comments

  • Hey, thanks for sharing this amazing article and it’s a tremendous article. looking forward to learning more from this blog

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