AFP 2020 Session preview: Harnessing Payments Data to Gain Powerful Insights

Anand Goel, CEO of Optimized Payments, is set to speak at this year’s AFP Conference in Las Vegas.

During these challenging times of social distancing, furloughs, layoffs, and working from home, it seems more critical than ever to do more with less and make data-driven decisions. The same holds true with card payments. Shifting from tracking traditional payment KPIs, many firms are now tracking refund ratios and chargeback ratios, while others are taking this “new normal” climate to review and optimize their swipe costs since every dollar matters.

Our AFP 2020 session, Harnessing Payments Data to Gain Powerful Insights, explores the journey that Hyatt Hotels has taken to develop its payments analytics competency and how it is leveraging that competency during these unprecedented times.


Traditionally, payments analytics has focused on optimizing costs and back-office efficiencies. These topics are more important than ever, given limited resources. Now, the scope of analytics has broadened as executives want to know the percentage of customers buying online and picking up in store or are using contactless payments. As a treasury or finance leader, do you have the data or framework to answer these or any of the following questions?

  • As a retail merchant or restaurant, what percentage of my customers are paying online and picking up at store (or curbside)? And what impact has this shift had on fraud?
  • What percentage of my card present transactions are contactless?
  • What is the shift of my retail shoppers now shopping online?
  • What are a few specific actions that can be taken to reduce the cost of card payments? And what portion of the total cost of payments is really controllable?
  • What are some specific tactics to increase authorization rates in the e-commerce channel?
  • What is the exact cost of processing a specific card/digital wallet transaction so I can understand true profitability of a customer? This might be particularly important in a low-margin B2B environment.
  • What is the “premium” we pay for accepting AmEx cards versus Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit products, and how does this compare with the AmEx discount rate paid by other merchants?
  • Is there an opportunity to negotiate or optimize custom incentive agreements with Visa, MasterCard or any of the PIN debit networks?

These questions and many others can be answered through payment analytics. Payment analytics is a discipline that measures the performance of payments by combining three key elements:

1. Data warehouse
2. Visual analytics
3. Payments expertise

All of these elements can be outsourced or developed internally. In either case, the insights and savings are worth the investment and focus, especially now.

Our AFP 2020 session will delve into the journey that Hyatt Hotels has taken to develop its payments analytics competency. From enhanced chargeback management and reporting to reducing the cost of acceptance to educating the directors of finance in the field, Hyatt continues to find new use cases for its rich data.

Remember, payments is a process like any other process inside an organization. And if you cannot measure a process, you cannot improve it.

Harnessing Payments Data to Gain Powerful Insights is part of the PAYMENTS TRACK at AFP 2020.  To learn more about AFP or to register, CLICK HERE.

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