When conducting business online it is vital to be able to track all parts of any financial transactions conducted by your organization. Where different companies are working together on different steps in the process, this isn’t always simple to achieve.
It is important to ensure that there is an appropriate level of observability at the heart of all of your systems and that it is easy to track the result of business decisions to real-world actions. Doing this enables the management to monitor business transactions and to be assured that they have gone ahead successfully, though they may have been routed through different systems belonging to various companies.
Business Transaction Tracking
Business transaction tracking is a subset of transaction monitoring and tracing, specifically focusing on the automated steps that generally comprise a financial (or other) transaction taking place. An example of how this works would be buying and selling shares.
Share Trading Example
When an individual or business entity trades shares online, they start the transaction by selecting how many shares and in which company they wish to trade. Once the transaction has been submitted, that is where the ball starts rolling and automated steps start to happen, which when looked at in combination, will add up to the overall transaction pathway.
It is important to understand that many of these steps will be invisible to the user and they may be unaware that there are so many steps involved. There will be an automated check on the funds in their trading account and if the funds aren’t enough to cover the proposed transaction, they will either be prompted to deposit more money to cover the transaction or, depending on the option they have selected, more money may be deposited automatically via their preferred payment method and the transaction may proceed to the next step.
Nearly all financial software these days will connect to anti-money laundering services to check that they have the green light to proceed and if so, the share trade will then be actioned. All of this happens in milliseconds and there is only a problem if the transaction fails without providing the end-user with an appropriate explanation.
The in-built error messages that are displayed when transactions are rejected after they fail to be approved on a credit check or money laundering basis are not to be considered points of failure but as the system working correctly and as it should.
Mortgage Provider Example
It is quite common for people to look for cheaper mortgages based on set criteria and many websites will now offer this service, pulling in quotes from external websites based on the information provided by the customer. This is also a scenario where multiple messages are sent out to different organizations when the website user presses the submit button on the form.
As with the previous example, this starts the clock on the transaction as messages are sent out automatically to multiple different mortgage providers to request their information in real time on the criteria supplied. Some of the providers will not return results within the specified time period and this is to be expected, so the websites are set up to report that there were no results from those providers within an appropriate time period.
If a particular mortgage provider was unable to return any results at all within a specified time period over a longer period of time then this may point to there being a problem with their system and possibly the setup of their scripts designed to handle this flow of information and this would mean that they were missing out on potential leads and sales.
Should the mortgage provider information be passed successfully back to the website and the customer chooses to proceed on the basis of the information provided, the transaction tracking information will help to identify the website that drove the sale and therefore any lead or commission money that is due to the company behind the website.
How this works in practice
The way that the transaction is tracked through multiple disparate systems and companies is generally via the assigning and passing of some kind of mutually agreed identification number as a variable between the different processes that are part of the transaction.
This number can be an invoice number or tracking number, it doesn’t particularly matter what the provenance is, as long as it is unique and is consistently applied and passed across all the steps of the transaction.
The same number being used across multiple organizations to describe steps in the transaction means that each different system has logged that same number and can look it up and reference it if needed, in order to understand any point of failure in the transaction or to track the successful transaction.
How can Nastel Technologies Help?
As leaders in the field of middleware messaging systems (integration infrastructure), Nastel Technologies has spent decades working with some of the most renowned businesses in the industry, including IBM, Dell, Citibank, and BNP Paribas. They have a proven track record of innovation and excellence and are a trusted partner to many businesses around the globe.
Nastel provides innovative technical solutions that allow you to maintain an unparalleled grasp on the minutiae of your transaction tracking metrics, offering top-class observability to optimize your business response to any scenario.
Offering real-time and near real-time end-to-end monitoring across the entire system, with stitched together data from across different mainframes, servers, databases, and apps to provide you with the maximum possible observability, Nastel can offer a game-changing service.
Being able to follow the course of your business transactions and being able to spot any potential problems is vital, as demonstrated in the mortgage quotes example, where unnoticed points of failure could mean real business repercussions, with missed sales and leads.
We use a data lake to store our message history and we analyze it from there to better understand any problems or points of failure that were experienced.
Abandoned shopping carts cost businesses in the USA $18 Billion every year, which is a very significant amount of money and many of these problems could have been avoided really easily via more careful analysis of transaction flows.
Protect your business today
Business transaction tracking is one of the best ways to protect your business and to make sure that money isn’t being left on the table needlessly due to minor business or technical problems or usability problems that would take practically no time at all to resolve.
It is definitely food for thought for many business owners and many of them choose to partner with Nastel for the high-quality solutions that their vast experience allows them to provide.
You can read more about Nastel’s approach to transaction tracking here.