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The Truth About Reliability and Your Issuer Processor

Truth About Reliability and Your Issuer Processor
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This post explores one of the most important aspects of choosing an issuer processor: platform reliability. When your business, whether a bank, credit union, fintech, or neo-bank, wants to issue credit cards or other payment features, it’s important to consider the benefits of partnering with a credit card processor. That processor should also have a platform that supports your business growth, with features like:

  • Custom credit, debit, and prepaid card programs.
  • Customizable loyalty and rewards programs.
  • A robust digital banking solution.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) tools.

This list is not comprehensive but is intended to give you a solid base from which to start when searching for the best issuer processor. Remember, your payment card issuing program should be unique, targeted, and innovative. Leave behind the cookie-cutter approach that customers can find everywhere else! Features are necessary to differentiate your card program, but your platform reliability is foundational.

Check out our Reliability Matters infographic for a quick walk-through explaining why platform availability means everything!

What Is an Issuer Processor

An issuer processor connects the card issuing bank or fintech to the card and/or bank networks by providing transaction authorizations, communicating with settlement entities, maintaining the system of record, and managing card issuing programs.

The issuer processor also helps to secure transactions by ensuring payment card industry (PCI) compliance and regulatory best practices are in place. These include data governance and risk mitigation tools.

A credit card issuer benefits from using a card processor because it’s difficult for small to medium size banks, credit unions, and fintechs to handle authorization processing in-house. Creating the complex infrastructure required for a payment processing platform to accept credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments, and more is foundational in providing processing services.

Can Users Rely on Your Platform?

Your payment processing platform is responsible for an important first step in the purchasing process: authorization. When your cardholder or customer dips their card at the point-of-sale device or enters their payment credentials online, the merchant sends a request to their acquirer.

The acquirer then submits an authorization request to the card issuer, who reviews the customer’s account and determines if the customer has enough funds to complete the sale. The transaction is completed, and everyone is happy.

But what if your authorization processing platform was unavailable?

The question is simple enough but consider the implications. From the cardholder’s (and the merchant’s) perspective, an authorization decline means the mission failed, and the payment processing platform wasn‘t able to authorize the transaction.

While there could be a number of reasons outside of your control that an authorization is declined, such as insufficient funds/credit, your customers should never experience a declined payment method due to an issue with your payment processing system.

A Day in the Life

The truth is many processors just don‘t treat authorization processing as mission critical. Just imagine the real-life impacts that a system outage can have on customers (and merchants).

It’s a big shopping day and the sales are really good. A customer finds the perfect deal and decides to make the purchase. They wait in line for what seems like an eternity (everyone is shopping for good deals after all), and finally make their way to the register. Discounts applied, they start getting excited about scoring such a great price.

They whip out their credit or debit card, insert the chip card, and the point-of-sale (POS) terminal displays a decline message. A slight panic sets in, but the customer decides to try mobile pay.

Unfortunately, the same decline message appears. Flustered, the customer opens their mobile banking app to confirm the available funds, but a timeout error appears on the screen. The checkout line continues to grow increasingly impatient. The customer has done nothing wrong here– but they don‘t realize that their bank’s issuer processing system is experiencing an outage.

In fact, the outage is impacting more than 30% of the issuer’s cardholders across the U.S. Lost sales, missed transactions, and frustration all lead to one thing: distrust.

“There’s a commonly accepted myth that issuers can have platform reliability or innovation with speed to market– but they can‘t have both, and it’s not true.

Reliability Powers a Positive Customer Experience

We know that payments and banking platforms are mission critical– to you and your customers. That mindset enables our clients to be visionaries in the world of payments. When your payment processing platform is reliable, you can focus on the important things like delivering unique products and solutions to your customers rather than scrambling to pinpoint system failures. i2c client visionaries focus on innovation because system reliability is automatic!

Contact us today to discover how our platform can power any use case you have. Your customers depend on their payment method– whether it’s a virtual or physical card– to work at all times.

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