Fiserv’s new Carat service for its big merchant clients aims to more efficiently deliver payments data that can inform business decisions.
That’s especially beneficial for businesses navigating hiring challenges, supply chain snags and economic headwinds, said Brandy Wood, Fiserv’s head of Carat client experience products.
With the new service, Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv aims to provide “near real-time information” across business functions, so clients can quickly and easily access the information within that payments data, Wood said.
After a pilot began in February, the capability was rolled out for all clients Sept. 29.
“We view that as critical intelligence that they can leverage to help their businesses make informed decisions, whether that’s reducing risk (or) optimizing commerce,” Wood said.
As an omnichannel commerce platform for large enterprises, Fiserv’s Carat competes against offerings from payments rivals Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), Adyen, JPMorgan Chase and Stripe, Wood said.
Carat revenue grew 20% and 22% in the first and second quarters, respectively, and the platform has seen growth across verticals including travel, technology, government and quick-service restaurants. Carat customers include Google, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, State Farm and Adidas, a Fiserv spokesperson said.
The move is a “key example for us of how Fiserv is continuing to invest in our commerce ecosystem,” Wood said.
As merchants grapple with economic uncertainty, the data service allows businesses to make better use of existing resources, Wood noted. “From a current economy perspective, all of our clients are looking to do more with the resources they’re already leveraging,” she said.
Previously, Fiserv would provide clients with large sets of data in various formats, and those clients had to tap IT resources to sift through data. That integration could “become really tech-heavy for them,” Wood said. The new service means clients can “focus on however they want to integrate pieces of that data, instead of picking it all up,” she said.
During the pilot of the service, they found that the data integration period for clients shrank, from several months to a few days, Wood said.
From an operational perspective, merchants want to make sure their business is performing at peak level. As the busy holiday season approaches, that means merchants might want to model and predict payments-related costs, Wood said. “Being able to have a view into that really allows them to proactively address potential situations versus waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it after the fact,” Wood said.
Other clients want to leverage data from a loyalty side of things, she said. Merchants want to be able to “monitor and track their payments activity so that they can promote the best offers to those that are loyal, as well as drive potentially new loyal consumers,” Wood said.