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Making the right choice for better MI

Good Management Information (MI) is crucial to running an efficient business, keeping track of payments and controlling cashflow. However, the level of information needed differs between businesses, and so Lloyds Bank Cardnet offers three distinct systems to meet MI needs. Here we explore the differences between the systems, and how they can each be used to meet business requirements.

Although Lloyds Bank Cardnet’s MI systems, Business Track, ClientLine and RAM, are tailored to the needs of different businesses, they all share the same overall goal: to enable business owners to monitor payments effectively and proactively. To do this, certain key features are shared:

  • Information about card transactions is available as soon as it has been processed
  • Data is accessible 24 hours a day, in a paperless format, from any web browser and through different devices including tablets and smartphones
  • Hierarchies can be established, so that a head office user in a retail chain can see what’s happening in different branches, whilst access for a user based in one of the outlets could be more limited
  • They are all fully PCI DSS compliant.

Different systems for different business needs

Although sharing many attributes, they have each been designed to provide distinct features which benefit different sizes and types of business.

Business Track: keeping things simple

Business Track is an entry-level MI system. “It gives a business owner a brief overview of the total transactions coming in at the end of each day,” explains Cath Arnold, Product Manager at Lloyds Bank Cardnet.

“That can really help smaller business owners who wear a number of different hats – buyer, accountant, sales manager – and need to know exactly how much money they have taken.”

Key benefits of Business Track

  • Get key information, clearly and simply
  • Review gross card sales
  • Free of charge

ClientLine: adding more detail

ClientLine is more granular than Business Track and lets the business owner track trends in card transactions. “The merchant can also schedule reports, which will be sent by email in the format and at the time of their choice,” explains Cath.

“In addition, ClientLine offers chargeback data information, allowing a business owner to keep a better track of refunds. Within a large company, for example, this can help highlight whether staff in one branch are giving out more refunds than others, prompting discussions as to why this is occurring. It might also help the business track a problem with a supplier, based on the number of goods being returned". Contact Cardnet for details of any applicable fees.

Key benefits of ClientLine

  • View transactions in detail
  • Generate customised reports
  • Get insights into customer behaviour
  • Flag fraudulent or suspicious card use

RAM: tracking foreign currency

Business Track and ClientLine are both for purely sterling transactions, but RAM is suitable for businesses that trade in foreign currencies. It is mostly used by businesses whose customers are international, such as airlines, hotels and high-end retailers.

“One thing that’s special about RAM is that you can interrogate live data. That can be really useful for a large merchant who wants more insight,” says Nic Sparasci, OmniPay Product Manager at Lloyds Bank Cardnet.

“Like ClientLine, RAM allows the merchant to track trends. For example, a business owner can see changes in the different currencies they are accepting. So a hotel will be able to see changes throughout the year in the amount of Japanese yen they are receiving, and then track the times of year when they are getting more visitors from Japan. That kind of information can help them plan for future business much more effectively”. Contact Cardnet for details of any applicable fees.

Key benefits of RAM

  • Keep track of multi-currency payments, including Sterling
  • Get customised reporting
  • View disputed transactions in real time

The latest enhancements

Lloyds Bank Cardnet regularly updates and enhances its MI systems. Business Track, for example, is a relatively new system, introduced in November 2014.

Whilst ClientLine has been in existence for three or four years, Lloyds Bank Cardnet has recently introduced major enhancements to its services. For instance, a business owner can now customise reports to select the information that they are most interested in. So they could choose to run a report just focusing on transactions carried out with Visa cards, for example.

“These enhancements are made in response to our customers’ needs and ongoing market research, which tracks business requirements” explains Cath. “Our overall goal is to make sure Lloyds Bank Cardnet is giving merchants more of what they need in terms of Management Information.”

Contact Cardnet for details of any applicable fees.

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