Leveraging Payments and Payments Technology Data for the Future Economy

Adam Hark |

Enough. Enough reading and re-reading the unrelenting onslaught of inbound emails from companies claiming to be able to guide you through this pandemic with their services and products. You’re in the payments business. You’re in an industry that’s famously resilient to disruption and downtrends. It’s time to do something for yourself, your family, and your company. Starting now.

Although the timeline for economic recovery is anyone’s guess, we’re beginning to acquire information which allows for formulating broad themed, 30,000-foot forecasts of commercial trends; local, state, and federal policy changes and implementations, economic reports and data, and sector strength and weakness cues from the public markets. But in the payments and payments technology space, our information is substantially richer and more robust than that which most business owners have access to. In fact, it’s more substantial than that which many of the talking head prognosticators in government and media are privy to. As a firm believer in the art of good decision making, I can state with confidence that the quantity and quality of the data our industry has access to is extraordinarily valuable, and you can leverage it to your advantage.

Payments and payments technology companies have access to a treasure trove of unique data that no one, short of the banks (Wells Fargo, Synovus, etc.), processors (Fidelity National Information Systems, Fiserv, etc.), and card networks (Visa, Mastercard) can leverage. You have a front row seat to real-time consumer behavior from the transactional reporting you receive on your merchants: what people are buying, when they are buying, how much are they buying, and so forth.

The rich data available in your merchant reporting gives payments and payments technology companies an advantage in the ability to make informed predictions. This predictive ability, or forecasting ability, can be used to optimize your business for the current economic environment, and reposition it for the future. With this information, you can begin to posit, in an unusually informed manner, which types of businesses will make it through this dislocation, which will fail, and which will thrive. Start categorizing into groups those end-users with greater value, and those with less, and begin the process of maneuvering your business into position to capture the upside of the “winners”, and cut loose the downside of those which are less likely to perform, and more likely to have a negative impact on your company.

Adam T. Hark is Managing Director of Preston Todd Advisors. With 15+ years of consulting in payments technology, SaaS, and fintech, Adam advises clients on growth, exits, and market positioning strategies. Adam can be reached at  adam@prestontoddadvisors.com