How to Improve Straight-Through Processing by Cleansing Reference Data

In today’s digital payment age and Open Banking era, consumers and businesses increasingly demand fast, simple and error-free payments. Financial institutions and PSPs know that ‘friction’ is a bad word when it comes to the payment process and they are very keen to improve straight-through processing. So, how can companies reduce payment errors and ensure that their payment process is seamless?

This blog looks at how to improve straight-through processing by cleansing reference data. Take a look.


How to Improve Straight-Through Processing | Apply Financial


What are the current barriers to straight-through processing?

FinTech solutions, SaaS brands and payment gateway providers have ushered in an era of Faster Payments and Open Banking, while the introduction of PSD2 has forced the incumbent players to work closely with third-party providers. The vision is to create a more harmonious payments environment and a frictionless payment experience for end-users.

So, what are the biggest barriers to enabling straight-through processing?

  • Outdated beneficiary/bank account details
  • Static payment databases and data degradation
  • Human error in payment data entry
  • Changing payment rules and regulations
  • Inadequate payment processing infrastructure
  • Issues with authentication/authorisation

These are all points of friction that can cause payment delays, failed payments, risk and reputational damage.


How can you reduce friction in the payment process?

The best way to reduce friction in the payment process and improve straight-through processing is to eliminate data errors. These errors can be avoided or minimised by ensuring your database is regularly monitored and updated. This will help to stop payments failing when reference data for recipients changes or if certain data becomes obsolete.

However, human error in data entry (or ‘fat finger’ errors) still accounts for a large proportion of errors. In fact, 9% of payments entered are subject to human error.


Why do payments fail?


So, how do you prevent so many human errors? And how can you keep your database refreshed and free of outdated details? Data cleansing is one part of the story and data validation is the other.


How to improve straight-through processing with payment data validation

Does your beneficiary data go through validation before you carry out payments? Is the payment validation process manual? This can be time-consuming and doesn’t necessarily ensure you catch all the errors. It’s not efficient, especially if you are involved in a high volume of payments. 

Want to know how to improve straight-through processing? Payment data validation. There are payment validation tools available that can not only save you time but prevent errors ever entering the payment process in the first place. Validate by Apply Financial is a suite of payment validation and data management tools to validate and enrich your data in real-time.


“Apply Financial helped us replace a costly manual validation process with slick automation. Now we have happier customers, happier back-office teams and a much higher rate of straight-through processing.” - Willis Towers Watson


Validate helps companies to:

  • Validate single and bulk data files
  • Eliminate payment errors
  • Reduce the costs of fixing failed payments
  • Increase straight-through processing (STP)
  • Stay compliant with global payment rules
  • Cleanse and enrich payment databases
  • Be aware of potential payment delays due to holidays

There are lots of factors involved when dealing with cross-border payments and varying requirements for different countries and jurisdictions. Our innovative software helps you to understand what information and payment data formats are required for each country.


Increase STP rate by enhancing your reference data

The key to increasing your STP rate is reducing errors in your bank reference data. So, enhancing that data will help you to minimise the time required to process payments and improve customer experience.


Apply Financial's Validate Data Manager API and browser


Our Validate system stops errors getting past the pre-payment validation stage, identifies the cause of the issues and enables you to quickly fix them and update your data. Our data cleansing tool, Validate Data Manager, lets you configure the system to monitor your payment data files at regular intervals to validate and enhance your reference data in real-time.


Discover the benefits of integrating Validate API


“Apply Financial’s Validate API solution helps us give our clients a seamless payment experience and keeps payment errors to a minimum.” - Rupert Lee-Browne, CEO Caxton FX


In the Open Banking era, APIs are helping to harmonise the payment space and cloud-based payment solutions like Validate API can be quickly and easily integrated into existing payment systems to provide a game-changing validation solution to sit within your payments process.

Learn how easy Validate API is to integrate and or listen to Ronald Lokker, General Director at Franx (a subsidiary of ABN AMRO), talk about the impact of our API in this video.


Apply Financial and Franx Partnership_4.11.2019


We hope that this blog gave you a good overview of how to improve straight-through processing. Over 700 companies use Validate, including major banks, financial institutions, corporates and service providers. The software is available in browser and API versions and covers over 180 countries and 220 payment jurisdictions. Get a free trial of Validate if you’d like to see the software for yourself.

Request a free Validate trial

Apply Financial is a SaaS business, based in London, offering next-gen global payments solutions to banks, corporates, financial institutions and payment services providers. Hundreds of organisations worldwide use our Validate tools for single payment validation and bulk payment file validation to improve straight-through processing and prevent costly payment errors. Get in touch if you'd like to discuss our cutting-edge FinTech solutions - we'd love to see how we can help! 

Topics: Payment Validation, Validate API, API integration, payment validation API, Validate Data Manager, data cleansing



We can validate BIC’s for over 220 countries In addition in over 170 countries we can validate domestic and International payment details and suggest changes to help you and your customers stay up to date and compliant with the evolving world of payment legislation and rules. Most of all we continue to add more countries to our Validate solution to present you with the de-facto standard in payment validation.

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