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Twenty years ago, a merchant would make efforts to maintain personal relationships with their customers. Customer loyalty was attained by giving exclusive discounts and offers, providing home delivery, and even talking to them about their day-to-day. Although consumers didn't have the convenience and plethora of choices back then, this used to be the highest level of personalization. Since then, a traditional brick and mortar is not the only point of sale for a new-age consumer who is now also present across multiple digital channels.

Throughout the new-age customer's omnichannel shopping journeys, there is a parallel merchant lifecycle. Today's consumers and merchants exchange payments seamlessly across several channels along a customer's journey. Even when in-store, a customer will still go online to continue their research, and both these channels will provide a path to purchase.

Similarly, as the number of devices, interfaces, payment means, and channels continue to increase, a merchant needs an aggregated view of this transaction data occurring on different payment mechanisms to get a single view of the customers. This has put acquirers in a unique position to fill the market gap for a unified interface tailor-made for specific business requirements with advanced tech solutions.

FSS Merchant Hub is one such omnichannel merchant service solution that unites retail, internet and mobile with merchant onboarding, accounting, risk management and merchant settlement process.

What’s New in Merchant Hub?

Payment systems are rapidly evolving, and merchant services have to keep up with them. Online merchants lose 62% of their customers who experience a failed transaction, highlighting the importance of having a high-quality merchant solution.

Some of the notable feature upgrades in FSS Merchant Hub which bring our customers up to date with evolving market demands are –

Enhanced Interchange Support - Diners Club International Contactless Transaction Enablement – FSS Merchant Hub now supports Diners Club International (DCI) card interchange for merchant processes. DCI processes transactions amounting to $24 billion in transactions volume annually, supporting 88,281 merchant websites worldwide.

Contactless Support – According to the Payments Journal, the growth of contactless payments has increased by 30% during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear of catching the virus from cash and card transactions combined with emerging payment touchpoints (Conversational Commerce, Mobile Scan and Pay, Tap and Pay) has driven its adoption among consumers and increased support at the merchant end - showing a 40% YoY increase since 2019 (Source). Keeping pace with this trend, FSS Merchant Hub has been enhanced to support contactless transactions for all major interchanges - Visa, MasterCard, JCB, CUP, Amex, RuPay and DCI.

RuPay qSPARC Integration

Following the government's initiative of One Nation, One Card under National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), customers no longer need to carry different cards for small payments, purchases, transit payments, toll booths and parking. A single card will handle all these transactions with support for both contact and contactless payments.

qSPARC specification supports the creation of wallets in the card at two different levels – Global, i.e., at the card level, and Local, i.e., at the service level. Issuers maintain the global balance, and the local balance is maintained by acquirers/operators. While the local balance can only be utilized for transactions at service provider-specific outlets, the global balance can be used for payments at all outlets where RuPay chip cards are accepted. Transactions amounting to less than र 2000 can be approved (offline) without additional factor authentication, shortening transaction processing time. The modules enhanced to support this feature are:

  • Transaction Processing
  • Billing Definition
  • Offline Refund for Purchase/ Offline Sales qSPARC transactions
  • Offline Risk and Fraud Management
  • Merchant Billing
  • Merchant Settlement
  • RuPay Interchange Clearing and Settlement
  • GL and Accounting, Statement Generation
  • Reports

FSS Merchant Hub provides support for defining and editing Transaction-based Service Fee Plans based on the parameters for contactless RuPay cards.

Auto Job Scheduler

Batch Processing - executing multiple jobs at once without end-user interaction, one stage at a time - was earlier triggered manually for every batch instance. FSS Merchant Hub has automated scheduling of batch processes that reduce manual intervention and time overheads in performing day-to-day operations. An admin user can configure the batch schedule as:

  • Hourly - Hours can be set as in every 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 hours.
  • Daily - Daily can be set as every day or every weekday.
  • Weekly - Weekly can be set as any single day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) or select all day.
  • Monthly - Radio button configuration available for specific user selection for Day and Week selection. For example, 5th day of 3rd month.
  • Yearly - Radio button configuration available for specific user selection for Day/Week, and Month selection. For example, 29th day of March or 3rd Friday of March.
  • Start at - User can set the start time like 1100 hours for the auto batch jobs process.
  • Retry - User can select retry batch process as Yes or No. If the user selects Yes, the number of retry counts must be provided.
  • Success / Failure Email ID - User can mention the user's Email ID to receive the success and failure notification.

Success and failure of the tasks can be tracked, and reports can be generated to monitor performance.

For instance, a job created for Transaction Processing can be set to run daily at a specific time, with an option to retry on task failure and receive success or failure status via email.

EMI and SI Transaction Support

Standing instruction (SI) is a mode of payment to pay a fixed amount on a preferred date (monthly or weekly billing cycle) on or before the payment due date.

Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) is a mode of payment that equally divides an outstanding amount into monthly installments to clear off within a specified timeframe.

FSS Merchant System is enhanced to support SI and EMI at the terminal level and further process for merchant settlement and interchange processing. FSS Merchant can be customized for SI and EMI functions based on the business need.

Merchant Reimbursement Plan

Businesses want to reimburse their loyalists, but often find the process of doing that digitally either too complex or unavailable because of its rigid structure.

FSS Merchant Hub’s Reimbursement Plan simplifies definition and computing of incentives to merchants, cardholders, and sourcing entities - sales managers, agents, regional sales managers - customized to suit an acquirer’s business needs. These customizations can be made on the following variables:

  • Merchant type
  • Transaction type (real-time or batch mode)
  • Periodicity
  • Transaction currency
  • Per-transaction cost
  • Minimum/Maximum incentive amount

Merchants who do not have a singular view of their customers have a vague understanding of what parts of omnichannel to prioritize. In the pressure to keep up with competition, they fail to align their investments in omnichannel initiatives with critical strategies. FSS Merchant Hub, with its 70+ reports for both merchants and acquirers, brings in the insights required to develop an effective 'crawl, walk, run' approach essential for driving the business in the right direction.

A customer present on every possible channel, both digital and physical, demands its merchant to know everything about them. It's no coincidence today when merchants lure customers with offers and discounts on their birthdays. The future of merchant servicing will require acquirers to be omniscient, enabling the presence of merchants across channels for the omnipresent consumer.

To learn how FSS Merchant Hub can help you acquire merchants, contact us at [email protected]

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