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According to research done by Bold 360 last year, 81 percent of Americans own smartphones, and more than one in five have a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. COVID-19 has certainly accelerated this usage, and the digital channel is being used more than ever, and consumers want their financial transactions and, in particular, digital payments to be as sophisticated as their other interactions. Consumers value convenience, and they value tools that help them to better manage their financial wellness proactively.
Additionally, financial institutions must also be able to handle more complicated payment processes, ensure the security of transactions, perform regular authentication checks, and curtail fraudulent activities. More importantly, consumer expectations are constantly changing, and they expect more flexible payment options, convenience, and personalized experiences.
Addressing these issues in the banking marketplace is Payrailz. Being a digital payments company, Payrailz offers advanced payment capabilities and experiences, including consumer and business bill pay, external and internal transfers, new account funding, P2P, B2B, B2C, and other related solutions to both banks and credit unions. Payrailz’s offerings are based on the concept of a “Do It For Me”® approach, leveraging consumer, billing, account, and transactional and behavioral data. The company delivers an AI-driven digital payment platform to deliver smarter payment experiences through online and mobile channels, voice-enabled devices, interactive messaging, and payment bots. “In a society that has increasingly become “Do It For Me,” smart makes the difference,” says Paul Franko, COO, and Co-founder, Payrailz.
Following is the conversation that CIO Applications had with Franko. He provides intriguing insights into the company and its cutting-edge solution.
What are some of the issues you address?
We have integrated the power of cloud computing, API first design, AI, and machine learning into the Payrailz digital payments platform to enable engaging and proactive payment delivery, assess consumer payment patterns, and secure payment processing. The platform is designed to resolve three primary issues for payers. First, it enables them to spend less time making payments. Second, we eliminate the need for scheduling payments by anticipating upcoming payment needs. Finally, we contribute to the financial health of the clients by providing timely actionable insights in an ongoing manner.
Moreover, our vision is that AI and machine learning can be used to improve the experience and help banks and credit unions to provide experiences to delight their customers or members while at the same time differentiating themselves from the competition.
With that in mind, our bill pay solution provides a simple example of how Payrailz can help users save on their monthly bills. For example, if a consumer is paying $200 for cable, and a neighbor is paying $100 for the same service, we can notify our users about the savings opportunity.
Being a full-service digital payments provider, we are focused on doing everything related to payments, including all inbound and outbound, receivables account, receivables management, and conducting seamless monetary transactions
With permission from the consumer, Payrailz knows how the individual uses the financial institution to make payments, and more importantly, Payrailz knows how and when payments are made. These insights can be securely used to provide proactive, personalized service. It’s turning data into proactive actions that add value. With this in mind, we are able to proactively remind payers about upcoming payments or even missed payments. Going the extra mile, our platform has auto-pay capabilities. Consumers can create a recurring schedule, and our platform will make the payment on their behalf. We provide the convenience of putting payments on autopilot or enabling the customer to choose a manual option with timely reminders.
Additionally, Payrailz offers a full range of digital payment services, such as facilitating the process of person-to-person payment by enabling the real-time movement of money from one payer to another.
Could you discuss some of the key features of the Payrailz platform?
Our platform has various distribution channels such as bots, voice, and push notifications incorporated into it to enable payers to easily make payments using mobile devices. The platform also analyzes users’ behavioral mechanics and allows them to make smart decisions about selecting a savings account, deposit account, or an investment plan to further improve their financial health. The rich repository of consumer data that we have enables us to handle complex integrations with core processing systems, online/mobile banking, and card networks to power transactions intelligently.
Apart from individual consumers, businesses can also leverage our platform to streamline their finances. It enables them to establish different entitlements. For example, CFOs can use our platform to set up payments for employees and approve those payments. In contrast, a clerk will be able only to see or schedule payments. We tailor the entitlements and the workflow of the platform to match the existing operations of an organization.
How do you ensure the security of your clients’ information?
As we are operating with a focus on real-time transactions, our engine is built to detect fraud in real-time. We also authenticate users’ identities across multiple institutions by ensuring that accounts are correctly identified. We have a trusted host model that allows users to directly use our platform after financial institutions authenticate their identities. In case of any verification loopholes, we have added additional capabilities within our platform to authenticate the payment process.
One such feature is the step-up authentication where we send a text to the users with a unique code from our platform, and once they punch in the code, they can make their payments. We also allow banks and credit unions to use their real-time fraud decisioning system for assessing the validity of any transaction or generating a risk score for them. So, we are adding an extra layer of multifactor authentication. We are also coming out with our own engine for fraud detection to make any payment process more secure.
What does your client onboarding process look like?
Clients of Payrailz can choose to purchase our services in multiple ways, either by buying all services or by selecting the individual services and microservices they require. We have onboarded FIs in as little as 30 days, but the timing depends on the needs of the client organization. We spend most of our implementation time in internal training and previewing the production experience prior to launch. Payrailz provides a modern, highly customizable full-function mobile and browser-based UX experience. If desired, FIs can choose to power selected functionality via their apps, leveraging the API, and other functionality via the Payrailz UX. Payrailz can handle all the heavy lifting and complex transactional processing on behalf of the FI.
What does the future look like for Payrailz?
Being a full-service digital payments provider, we are focused on doing everything related to payments, including all inbound and outbound, receivables account, receivables management, and conducting seamless monetary transactions. We believe in improving the payment experience of consumers by utilizing cutting-edge technology.
In a nutshell, we are looking to automate the entire payment process and eliminate all the complexities associated with it. We are constantly moving toward the goal of delivering payments faster and more efficiently with our real-time transactions.