Big data and the B2B payments landscape

At Tranglo, we process billions of dollars in cross-border transactions every year. Single and mass payouts go through our system rapidly, enabling quick payments around the world. The sheer amount of information that we have garnered over a decade of handling business payments is staggeringly huge, but not processed and understood in its entirety. 

It isn’t immediately apparent when we first started, but big data is now an important topic of discussion in fintech and, specifically, payments. As more and more businesses use fintech to simplify their payments, third-party processors suddenly find themselves with a lot of data that can be analysed to shape corporate strategies. Suddenly, making sense of big data is pivotal to the sustainability of these firms.

 

What is big data?

Imagine the following scenario. You are digitally savvy. Not the kind who can’t live without the Internet or social media platforms, but one of those who have adequate know-how to manoeuvre round Google and Facebook for news, traffic information or simply for work and leisure. How much data do you think Google and Facebook have on you? 

According to this opinion piece in The Guardian, the British news site, the amount of data they have is far beyond what you can possibly imagine. This includes every email you have ever sent, deleted and every picture that has ever been uploaded. Everything you’ve searched for and deleted. Your routine. Places you have visited. 

Now multiply this with billions of users and you have zettabytes upon zettabytes of data (hyperbole alert). This information, unprocessed, represents big data in the most basic way: overwhelming and, to the layman, mostly useless. 

But to the trained eye, it allows businesses to observe consumer behaviour and identify prevailing trends that can be used to chart strategies and market their products more effectively. And this is just one example in a single sector. Imagine big data being used to aid rescue missions, improve healthcare delivery and technology, accelerate mega construction projects, etc. The potential of big data is endless.

 

How do fintechs seize the potential of big data in B2B payments?

But we digress. In the context of business-to-business payments, what are payment hubs doing with big data? More importantly, is it all that useful for businesses that engage these fintechs? Here are two examples of what Tranglo is doing.

First, allow us to point you to this article published by McKinsey. The key takeaway: identifying big data resources and gaps is basic to a big data strategy. It goes on to say that a “review of internal and external data will create a realistic view of a company’s capabilities and needs, as well as access to analytical talent and partnerships”. 

Tranglo identified the need to process data to its full potential early this year. We are in the process of setting up an internal data analysis team. Its task? To solve the problem of underused data. For example, we used to have a lot of payment and technological data that can rarely be shared outside of the company because it was not standardised. Nor was this information shared across the company internally because of siloed efforts: analysis of payment data often neglected the marketing aspect and couldn’t be used to coordinate internal and external reach clients effectively or push engagement endeavours. 

Moving forward, data analysis by this single, specialised team (the composition of which is highly diverse, including but not limited to representatives from the marketing, customer service, technology and infrastructure teams) will work to identify “data gems” and recognise the value of them in our partnerships with clients. This will allow businesses to shorten payment turnaround time, thereby lowering opex and increasing liquidity ratios.

Second, read this PYMNTS.com piece on the usefulness of Google Maps to predict the future of payments. Or you can just trust us as we highlight a point that stands out: “A good deal of what’s coming in payments and commerce can be seen via what’s going on with maps. They are not only doing specific, day-to-day jobs for consumers, merchants and others, but pointing the way toward innovations, disruptions and trends that could dominate the 2020s.”

As a global payment processor, Tranglo has access to payment trails. With that information, we have drawn up maps worth “USD2.5 billion in transaction value”. We are working hard to use these maps to learn more about how people pay, what changes are in store and push the frontiers of known payment hotspots. This will allow us to drive our network expansion optimally, allowing businesses to make payments through us more efficiently.  

 

What does the future hold for big data-driven payments?

Big data-driven payments will be the talk of the town, if it isn’t already. Stay tuned to our blog for the next article, where we will discuss the fintech trends to watch in 2020. 

Tranglo is all about innovation, but nobody wants to reinvent the wheel. More important than protecting our bottom line, we are aware that reinventing the ways to create added value for our customers is key to making cross-border and mobile payments accessible to all. After all, it is not just about driving the payment ecosystem towards a sustainable future, but doing so in a seamless and rewarding manner.

One of the ways we plan to do that, if you haven’t already figured, is by analysing data gathered by our single interface platform and API efficiently, deriving meaningful insights and using them to affect the supply chain positively. We want to help businesses, big and small, observe payment trends and make wiser investments by seizing the potential of big data. Talk to us to know more.

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