Payment reconciliation: how to streamline and automate your omnichannel financial data

Payment reconciliation is one of the most challenging components of running your online or omnichannel business. It matches the company's bank account payments with invoices issued, expenses incurred, and other accounting transactions.

It is a complex process with a high margin for error, especially if done manually. With more transaction types, reconciliation becomes increasingly more complicated – think of payouts, (partial) refunds, and chargebacks, just to name a few. If your financial administration is not in order, this quickly becomes chaotic.

Is there a way to make the process smooth, simple, or even automatic? And how can a partnership with the right payment service provider contribute to improving your reconcilation? Read the following paragraphs to find out the answer to those questions.

Let's get started!

Main challenges of payment reconciliation

As we mentioned earlier, payment reconciliation can be tricky. Matching the funds in your bank account with issued invoices presents some challenges: for example, different payment methods may require different timings for crediting money to the account (e.g., bank transfer versus cards or Buy Now, Pay Later solutions). Your customer may have entered wrong information in the payment parameters, the payment is transferred too late or with the wrong amount. The customer can even choose to cancel his transaction; which means you have to refund the amount. 

As if more were needed, the reconciliation process becomes even more complicated in an omnichannel business, for which a large amount of data and payments made through multiple touchpoints (the online shop, the physical shop, and so on) must be monitored and managed. It is easy to imagine how the pressure and workload on the company's administrative team increase in such a case. 

Considering this, you may wonder whether there is a way to simplify and even automate complex operations such as reporting and accounting. 

How to simplify the payment reconciliation

There is indeed a way. Especially if you have adopted an omnichannel sales strategy, simplification is a must to ensure smooth and efficient business management. You can achieve this by managing your accounting operations (and more) on a single dashboard, from which you can monitor the status of all your payments (online and in-person), collect customer data, and keep track of your business. 

Managing via one dashboard allows you to simplify even complex processes, such as reconciliation: the chance to combine data from all your touchpoints enables you to create a single, automated flow, which will facilitate the work of your administration unit. 

As you can see, adopting an omnichannel strategy not only has excellent advantages for your customers (first and foremost, creating a consistent and uniform customer journey through all your sales channels) but also greatly benefits you. In the following paragraphs, we will show you the advantages of automation and omnichannel to a merchant's work. But now we reassure you: you don't have to find the right solution to facilitate your business processes yourself! You already have someone on your side ready to make your life easier. 

Automatic payment reconciliation: the support of an omnichannel PSP

You can count on an omnichannel payment partner that can simplify and automate time-consuming tasks and processes such as reporting

Specifically, what kind of support can your PSP provide you with

  1. A payment service provider (PSP) works as intermediary between the bank and the merchant. It helps match the collected funds with the customer transactions and the payment methods they used. It also helps dealing payment match following refunds and chargebacks.
  2. As we already said, centralizing is an essential step. Providing you with a single platform to collect and control your customer data and transactions across all your touchpoints is the first step not only to creating the optimal shopping experience but also not to missing a single detail of your operations and to have a complete overview of your business.
  3. This way, you will always keep track of your financial situation: revenue, turnover, refunds, non-payments, or delays. It will also make it easier for you to plan your following investments.
  4. Reporting also plays its role! Your payment provider can offer you all the tools to create and schedule ad-hoc periodic reports based on your needs. The best way to obtain specific insights into the performance of your business (e.g., on a time basis) and identify possible improvement areas. Reports should be quickly sent via your preferred channels, such as e-mail or SFTP protocols.
  5. An efficient and market-aware payment provider will help you automate your reconciliation and accounting activities by offering the right integrations. For instance, this is the case with our integration for Exact Online, the cloud-based software that helps small and medium-sized enterprises digitize and simplify their accounting and administrative processes.
  6. Moreover, we offer our merchants a powerful and dedicated API that can help reconciliation as it contains the complete overview of all payment data, costs and settlements. This API can also be used as the driver of real-time dashboarding to keep fully control of your business.

The benefits of automated reconciliation for an omnichannel merchant

As you may have guessed, automating payment reconciliation has undeniable advantages, going hand in hand with those related to a 'truly' omnichannel approach.

Let’s recap them once again:

  • Bringing together (and being able to keep track of) all your customers' payment data, as well as charges, fees, refunds, etc., in one place gives you a complete view of your business trends. 
  • Automating helps to shorten end of the year reporting as well as recurring one, which is one of the most crucial and time-consuming tasks for a business. Shortening and saving time (which you can spend on your growth strategies) are not the only benefits. Automation allows you to get deeper insights with more precise and timely data, and better insight into financial data makes it easier to plan for business expenses.  
  • Saving time means saving money for all the investments you need.  
  • Automating also reduces the risk of manual error: your team will thank you, not only because accounting and reporting operations will become smoother but also because the workload will decrease considerably. 

Automation is no joke. But fortunately, you can count on a reliable partner to help you grow your business by efficiently managing the most challenging tasks.

Simplify your reconciliation and accounting processes with our omnichannel offer. Contact us to learn more and discover how to improve your business by optimizing your operations.

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