The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 22, 2010 • Issue 10:03:02
Statistical analysis of prepaid
U.K.-based prepaid card processor Stanton Consultancy Ltd. found the reporting tool it developed to track the sales from its prepaid card vendors so useful that the company is now bringing the product to market.
The program, a hosted, Web-based software application known simply as The Stats Tool, provides tailored, specific, real-time sales data to prepaid card vendors. The Stats Tool will hit the market in the next business quarter, according to SCL Managing Director Ray Stanton.
Parsed to order
The program provides statistical data in a variety of forms depending on a client's needs, Stanton said. Information typically includes real-time reporting and analysis of daily fluctuations in sales volume, along with the parsing of sales data by time period and/or sales location (such as store-by-store, day-by-day or year-over-year sales comparisons).
Stanton said the prepaid card business serves large retail chains and groups and needs a way to track in real-time what's selling, where and when it's selling, and who's selling it.
"As our transaction volume grew, it became difficult for us to keep track of what was happening, so we developed a statistics database where we periodically scan our live databases in real time," he said. "Currently we scan them every five minutes. So you can see your sales progressing in a real-time basis.
"We can see our entire world - which sellers are selling how many cards, what their load values are, and it gives us a sense of [whether] the system performing properly at the moment and to our expectations. ... You can break it down by outlet, by user, by individual till, any number of ways."
Convert that, would you?
Stanton said The Stats Tool is aimed especially at franchises with multiple locations, enabling them to view disparate sales data (including data culled from kiosk and mobile phone-based sales) within a single portal.
The program has a currency conversion feature for international firms, allowing users with multicurrency sales information to homogenize data under a single currency and thus more easily compare and contrast the returns from different global outlets.
Stanton added that the program is helpful in tracking not only prepaid card sales but a variety of items sold on the foreign exchange market. Among them are traveler's checks, precious metals and bank notes.
He named financial institutions dealing in foreign currency sales as potential clients, along with shopping malls that sell open-loop gift cards.
He also said The Stats Tool can serve as a fraud fighter by highlighting sales discrepancies or peculiarities that indicate possible foul play.
"We have used it in a proactive fashion before," Stanton said. "There was trading at a mall at an unusual time of night when the mall was quite clearly closed, and transactions were still happening.
That's a potential flag for fraud, so we did go through to the mall and establish it was closed and then went through to the program manager. It turned out to be legitimate - somebody was actually preloading some cards for a huge bulk order."
Stanton Consultancy Ltd.
+44 (0) 1273 666 616
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