Why Transaction Monitoring, Why Now?

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Over the past few months, INETCO has noticed the urgency around deploying continuous, real-time transaction monitoring has intensified…and honestly, we were not sure why. Here’s a bit of what we discovered…

During a recent webinar titled, “The ROI of transaction visibility”, our polled audience indicated that:

“…41% were not sure where the majority of their performance visibility gaps were taking place.  34% indicated that the majority of their performance issues within their ATM and POS architectures were discovered through customer complaints.”

Our guest speaker also indicated:

“…If your operations team is continuously looking for ways to improve the end customer experience, they should also be continuously monitoring transaction performance…”  

Finally, a recent quote from Bob Meara, Senior Banking Analyst at Celent explained:

“62% of financial institutions in a recent Celent survey strongly believe that customer analytics offers significant competitive advantages and 53% strongly feel they need a granular, holistic and forward-looking view of customers to be competitive. One key to understanding customers and improving banking channel efficiencies lies in making rich transaction data accessible for actionable customer analytics.”

Aha!  We get it.  Now let’s move on to address some of the immediate questions posed in the title of this blog.

Why are log files not enough?

When application, network, server or host connection issues occur within your payments network, these issues are usually sporadic and not easy to reproduce.  Customers may know that running trace files is your only option for catching a certain issue, but the invasive, reactionary nature of the task still leaves them feeling frustrated.

Although log files deliver valuable information on how components of your overall system are performing, watching the performance of each individual application would require multiple reporting screens. The data does not provide any information on what is happening between these application components, or how well these components are holistically working together. In addition, you cannot look at log files to determine how well external host authorization systems are responding.  The very nature of log file data also limits proactive or real-time remediation processes.  Often, by the time you realize something occurred, the log files have been overwritten. Also, running transaction log files have been known to have a negative effect on system performance.

So why transaction monitoring?

To manage transaction performance and guarantee the completion of critical transactions, operations teams need full visibility of traffic coming in from various POS, ATM, Mobile banking or Internet banking systems.  They will need to see the processing times of each switch, as well as the request and response times for each network communications link, external host authorization connection and third party application.  This timing data is a very clear measure of transaction performance, and is the key to knowing whether external systems have received the message or not.

And why now?

Thankfully, it’s never been easier to collect, correlate and visualize valuable transaction data across your complex banking environment.

Today’s continuous, real-time transaction monitoring systems are designed to make sure that the source of transaction slowdowns and failures are found in complex application environments – before they affect the end customer experience.  There are proven, lightweight software options that capture and correlate data off the network, making it extremely easy to see the transactional information passed into the system as well as the timings of the various legs of every banking service request you process.  Data such as the request and response timings, transaction dollar values, error codes and network address information is easily accessible to investigate where and when a problem occurred, so that you can quickly determine the “why” and resolve it.

A webinar to learn more…

If you would like to learn more about the importance of continuous, real-time transaction monitoring, please join INETCO and NCR for an interactive webinar titled, “Why Transaction Monitoring, Why Now?” on Wednesday, May 27th at 8am PDT. Leave this webinar knowing how you can easily gain a comprehensive view of your global network, and harness the game-changing knowledge of where, when and how consumers interact within your multi-channel banking environment.