When you make a non-cash payment – whether it’s your debit card in a shop, your e-wallet online or (if you’re really tech-savvy) paying for dinner with your watch, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about what happens once you press the ‘pay button’. We all know that somehow the money moves from your account to the person or company you bought from. You probably also know that there are checks that happen to make sure you’re not a crook trying to use someone else’s card (and to check you have enough money to pay for your purchase).
But beyond that what really happens can seem a bit of a mystery. What happens in those milliseconds between you tapping your contactless card (for example) and seeing the message that says ‘transaction approved’? And then how does the money for your shopping end up in the store’s bank account?
The Money Journey
You’d be surprised if you knew how many pit stops your payment data (safely) makes in the blink of an eye. The truth is that the information from your transaction (name, card number, payment amount etc.) can be transported around the world, between the retailer, your bank, the card scheme (e.g. Visa, Mastercard etc.) and several other businesses to get that ‘approved’ message. And it all happens so fast and so smoothly that you can go on with your day knowing there’s nothing else you need to do.
This is where payments processors fit in. Any business that wants to offer a way for customers to pay, needs a payments processor to connect everything together and make sure the transaction works. Some banks decide to process their own transactions, but many decide that a specialist third-party processor is a better option. Why? Well, if we think about how we paid for things five or ten years ago…. for many of us, it’s very different to how we pay for things now. Bank transfers, smart watches, contactless cards, even voice devices like Alexa can now make payments happen. It takes a lot of dedicated resources and specialist technology to keep up with this constantly changing digital boom.
How we help
This is where Tribe fits in. We provide the technology and processing power across the full payments chain. We help to safely and quickly move payments data between the people or companies who want to pay for something and the person or company they want to pay.
Some payment processors also go beyond the basic ‘data processing’ to provide businesses with the means for that payment data to be transmitted in the first place. For instance, Tribe offers a digital wallet, POS devices (chip and PIN terminals, for instance), online payment gateways (the tech that payment data goes through when you shop online), and even the option to pay with cryptocurrencies.
About Tribe: Tribe’s core platform – ISAAC – supports issuer and acquirer processing, plus a raft of extra services including Open Banking and Digital Banking capabilities that clients can easily add to their payments programmes. Because Tribe’s tech is modular and API-led, it’s quick and easy for clients to just ‘plug-in’ the services they want and change or add to those services when they want to offer something new.