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Corona Cards

Delivering exceptions-based processing across the entire card transaction lifecycle

Executive Summary

Corona Cards is a unique solution that enables banks to automate reconciliation processing, remove manual activities and replace them with exception handling processes, providing more efficient and effective card transaction management. It facilitates fraud detection, high straight through processing (STP) rates and improved customer service, while reducing the overall cost of payment processing.

To manage and mitigate risk and lower processing costs, banks must have systems and controls in place to monitor the full lifecycle of card transactions. This requires moving from monthly or weekly reconciliations to daily and intra-day, real-time transaction monitoring. However, the current reconciliation environment at many firms is still too reliant on spreadsheets, multiple databases and historical data to actively monitor all card-related transactions.

As a recognised leader in reconciliations technology, SmartStream is using its expertise to deliver new levels of visibility and control to this transaction process. The SmartStream Corona Cards solution is a new module of the financial services industry€™s most widely deployed reconciliation solution, offering proven technology used by hundreds of financial services firms globally.

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Corona Cards Overview

Improving customer service and profitability

Customer service is a fundamental driver and ATMs in particular represent a critical point of interaction between the bank and the customer. Issues such as incorrectly debiting / crediting accounts, or blockers that prevent payments being released can cause significant reputational issues. It also impacts operational costs, as banks investigate the root cause for the account issues.

As ATM and card-based payment / debit schemes continue to expand through new mid-tier entrants, the complexity of managing ever-expanding networks increases. For the smaller deployers, the largest problem is staff levels, ensuring machines are functioning and replenished on a regular basis.

With increased competition in the ATM market has come increased cost pressure on profits and the need for more efficient transaction measurement. As firms look to outsource cards transactions, for example, an independent control layer is required to effectively manage risk and increase visibility into positions and authorised transactions.

Lowering operational risk

Banks, network owners and ATM / POS deployers face numerous events that must be monitored, managed and controlled. However, the sheer number of potential events, from reconciling accounts through to fault reporting and replenishment, demand automation in order to deliver a high level of customer services and reduced operational risk.

For smaller firms this is often done through paper files and reports, requiring data re-entry and increasing the potential for errors, while also failing to address audit and compliance requirements. Where firms have automated it has often been through spreadsheets and Access databases that become unwieldy and still fail to provide any sort of real-time monitoring or reporting capabilities. More sophisticated firms may have some levels of automation but typically these are in house developed point solutions where the investment required is too high to justify for advanced reconciliation, exception handing and reporting capabilities.

Aside from the overriding financial and operational risks that every financial organisation faces, there are some very specific issues inherent to card processing. These include:

  • Financial risk and exposures due to fraud
  • High operational costs due to account issues and subsequent
  • investigation processes
  • Counterparty risk due to reliance on historical data from
  • card issuers, networks and other banks
  • Loss of profitability and inefficient use of cash - ATMs
  • can be underutilised while others struggle to cope with
  • demand fluctuations
  • Reputational risk due to ATM faults and unscheduled closure

The solution

Corona Cards is a highly efficient, scaleable solution that can easily be deployed to address the needs of banks, ATM and POS deployers. It delivers a real-time operational control layer ensuring greater visibility into card transaction processing and enabling firms to manage different elements of card processing:

  • Full transaction lifecycle monitor - from transaction
  • authorisation through with issuer / acquirer settlement
  • and invoice reconciliation
  • The card transaction: Intra and Interbank transactions
  • for own and external customers
  • The settlement of funds (cash)
  • The inventory of ATM machines
  • The charges incurred for any services (Transactions,
  • Settlements, Infrastructure)

Corona Cards is unique, offering at its core an industry leading reconciliation engine coupled to a sophisticated investigation workflow to ensure efficient and effective resolution of unmatched items. As a result it delivers significant reductions in risk and enables firms to identify any problems - replenishment, potential fraud, faulty machines - more efficiently, saving time and money.

Acting as a control system for card transaction monitoring, TLM Corona automates critical functions in real-time creating more proactive operations. It also adds value through cash requirement forecasting for ATMs, financial reporting to understand individual ATM profitability and usage and real-time event management.

Corona Cards delivers:

  • Enhanced transaction management: Efficient and sophisticated reconciliation processes creates higher STP rates, while all exceptions are dealt with promptly.
  • Improved reputation: More efficient monitoring and event management reduces account errors, such as double bookings due to stand in and authorisation duplication.
  • Increased profitability: Real-time monitoring of cash positions within ATMs enables firms to invest those funds elsewhere, while accurate forecasting and monitoring ensures optimal cash levels.
  • Lower operational costs: Greater automation removes manually intensive processes and provides greater visibility into invoices from third parties, such as VISA.
  • More efficient operations: Lower number of exception items enables staff to focus efforts on added value tasks.
  • Improved fraud monitoring: Rapid access to rich transaction and counterparty data enables firms to limit exposures and provide more efficient resolution. ATM cash levels can also be monitored to ensure inventory and expected loads match.

With Corona Cards managing card transactions through efficient reconciliation and investigations, firms gain timely reconciliation of balances and interchange calculations. The functionality also extends deep into the organisation, reconciling those records against general ledger account balances.