08 December 2020
Reading Time: 4 mins
08 December 2020
Reading Time: 4 mins
In our last blog, we walked through five common scenarios where payment device transaction revenues are lost. The underlying reason in each one? Poor, unreliable connectivity.
Ensuring payment devices work quickly and consistently means more transactions on that device, ultimately resulting in more revenue. This means doing everything possible to ensure that when the transaction is entered, the device is ready to take the payment as quickly as possible, and that payment goes through the first time.
So, what can be done to optimise payment devices and processing terminals?
A standard payment device may be used to make payments anywhere in the world and might have to move around. Connectivity may not be a problem in a New York City restaurant but might be more challenging when the same device is used at a rural music festival or the end of a taxi journey.
Many devices use consumer SIM cards from mobile network operators, tied to one network. Each mobile network has different coverage levels depending on where its base stations are, and devices that rely on a single network will not work in 15-25% of locations. For one-off events, such as festivals, a partner mobile operator may set up a dedicated network to cope with increased usage, and those not on that network will struggle to do business there.
A convenient solution is to use a Multi-IMSI SIM, which has agreements with all the major global mobile network operators and can connect to whichever network has the best capacity at the time and place the device is used.
A single ‘intelligent’ SIM is inserted into the device before it is shipped, and then programmed to switch network depending on where it is being used, as well as being able to accept over-the-air network switches as required.
This becomes even more important if the device is being used across multiple countries, each with their own mobile networks and data rules.
Connecting quickly is key to rapid transactions, so the device should always be ready to go.
Most mobile network SIM cards are designed for consumer devices. The networks deliberately drop connections to idle devices, so operators can maximise utilisation of networks, which is why there is a short wait for the connection to re-establish when you turn your phone on. When networks are congested, they sometimes drop connections that are in use to help manage capacity.
But for IoT devices whose profitability benefits from continuous connectivity, this is a poor solution. It is far better to use a IoT cellular connectivity solution that allows continuous connectivity without dropping, so that when a payment is entered, the device will be immediately ready.
This is clearly important to users. Eseye found that some payment devices were implementing software configurations to ping Google as frequently as every 30 seconds so that the connection didn’t drop. That’s a lot of unnecessary data being used to maintain a connection and ensure the device is ready.
A better solution would be to use a SIM that doesn’t drop the connection.
Getting a customer to use a payment device for their transactions is vital to it delivering value. If it requires even simple setups – entering Wi-Fi passwords on awkward keypads or waiting for a technician to come and work out the best mobile network – some customers will not bother to set it up, especially if they have other devices that already work. A good device is designed so that it connects and works from the very moment the merchant turns it on.
All devices will have problems sometimes… Whatever the problem, if the customer says it is not working, it is in the issuer’s interest to get it resolved so the device can start transacting again.
Understanding how the device is being used, which can be achieved for example by processing usage data through a cloud service such as AWS or Azure and applying analytics, can allow better responses to complaints.
By looking at the data around transaction events, we can understand what happened. If the merchant believes it is a network problem, that can be checked. If not, we can explore what the real problem is and develop a solution, rather than just replacing devices or sending engineers on unnecessary callouts.
It may be that the merchant is switching the device off, leading to slow start-up times, in which case the solution may be training or better information. Or it may be a software problem, in which case the solution is to work with software suppliers to understand what can be done to improve it.
Doing this needs reliable cellular connectivity to capture the data, expertise to look at the data and understand what it is telling us, and software knowledge to talk to the software supplier at the right level.
At Eseye, we work with payment processing companies to improve their connectivity and maximise the number of successful transactions to increase revenue.
Our AnyNet Secure SIM card delivers weeks of continuous connectivity without dropping because we have built a global network connectivity platform to provide a high quality of service.
Our market-leading Multi-IMSI SIM works across over 700 mobile networks – which Eseye has negotiated deals with – and can be switched between them over the air, allowing us to provide the best possible coverage wherever the device is located, even if that changes over time. This also allows ongoing optimisation in the field, should terminals move, or networks have faults or congestion issues.
Eseye’s relationships with global mobile networks, and understanding of local connectivity and data processing challenges, mean we can help businesses build connectivity into their payment processing devices and terminals rather than installing it locally. Devices with Eseye connectivity work out-of-the-box anywhere in the world, reducing the need to maintain large local setup teams. All resulting in easy setup, easy to use devices, faster processing times, and fewer dropped connections. It means merchants can process transactions faster, and lost transactions are avoided.
Where there is a choice, the better-connected device is the preferred one, the one that transacts the most, and the one that generates the most revenue.