This lack of transparency into what is going on with a transaction is a common payment data problem. But there are many others. John Bruggeman, the CEO of a payment vendor called Traxpay, participated in a recent podcast where he complained that banks are routinely dropping data from transactions -- especially business-to-business transactions -- making the transactions far less useful.
"What happens today is that the minute the invoice is approved, it goes off that network and goes through the traditional bank network. The most important thing that gets lost is the data because banks are not set up to keep or maintain the data that got to the point of the payment," Bruggeman said in an Aug. 21 podcast. "We lose all kinds of information like What was that order? Why did I order it? Why did we agree to this price? Why did it change mid-stream? Why were the delivery conditions changed?' All of that information gets lost when we go to the bank because all the bank cares about is What's the account number? Who owns the account? What's the amount?' There's a total disconnect."
That disconnect is certainly not surprising to IT execs who struggle with getting systems to retain all of the rich metadata that is attached to transactions -- and all kinds of communications within an enterprise. The fact that it's also sidelining Apple should be of some comfort. If a company like Apple -- whose understanding of the mobile app was predicated on its acknowledgment that data is king -- can risk losing payments (or, even worse, getting underpaid) because of a lack of data transparency, this problem needs some really big fixes.
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