Data Driven Marketing

3 Unexpected Ways Equifax Can Help Grow Your Payments Business

3 Unexpected Ways Equifax Can Help Grow Your Payments Business

November 08, 2023 | Jake Osborne

You know that familiar chime on your phone when a payment is made? That, paired with the steady (metaphorical) hum of billions of dynamic financial transactions happening in real time, is the sound of explosive growth in the payments industry where total revenues recently hit $1.6 trillion

Today, as this dynamic niche of FinTech players continues to innovate and mature, payments providers are looking for new ways to unlock fresh revenue and customer growth in the face of:

  • notable declines in startup funding, 

  • rising small business bankruptcies, 

  • stubborn inflation, 

  • and continued economic uncertainty. 

In this article, I’m pulling back the curtain at Equifax. I believe that payments companies hold an abundance of data that can be activated to enrich their services and help generate revenue. Equifax, a leading data, analytics, and technology company, can help put payments data to work creating value. I will share three data-backed tactics that every payments provider—particularly payment acquirers and processors—can use to help grow their business, in less time, under almost any market conditions.

Unlock market intel that’s razor-sharp and data-driven. 

Equifax may not be the first name that comes to mind when payments firms are contemplating their growth strategies. But, companies may be surprised (even excited) to learn that we offer a dynamic suite of data-driven solutions designed to help grow and differentiate their business in unique ways. 

It’s something Equifax has been quietly building toward for a while with the strategic acquisitions of Kount and Midigator—market leaders in fraud and chargeback risk reduction—plus recent partnerships with top global payment brands like Fiserv. With my recent move to Equifax, I add two decades of market leadership and domain expertise across the payments ecosystem. We are now primed to improve the payments landscape with exclusive data, needle-moving insights, and in-depth intelligence.

Put simply, our strategic focus on the payments industry is razor-sharp, and our data-driven solutions are even sharper. Here are three ways we can help firms move the needle. 

Discover untapped niche markets and merchant audiences. 

More than 99.9 percent of companies—33.2 million—are small businesses. Yet, one-fifth of those businesses will close within year one and half will close in the first five years. Further, it was recently reported that small business bankruptcy filings have jumped. Smaller companies are securing fewer loans, often relying on personal credit cards to stay afloat. 

My point is that your prospect universe is vast. So, how do you target the “right” companies? Ripe new merchants that are full of potential. Businesses that are thriving, not fizzling out. Emerging niche companies (which, btw, pop up quickly in today’s hyper-digitized market). Or even high-potential opportunities inside your customer base.

These questions matter. Your marketing dollars are precious, especially in today’s tight market, and you need a strong ROI tied to every penny spent. 

Equifax offers distinctive business data with a specialized focus on small businesses. This includes detailed information to help you target specific segments, verticals, and buying centers, and craft new strategies to help build top-of-funnel activity. For instance, our B2bConnect solutions give you more than standard firmographics so you can better understand commercial prospects with direct access to: 

  • Detailed commercial coverage of global and U.S. businesses, their commercial attributes, structures, and linked companies.

  • More than 8 million accounts with payments records. 

  • Granular merchant revenue data on growth and volume processing.

  • Hotlists of brand-new business openings and closings.

This puts power behind your prospecting by giving you fresh insights, agility, and precision. Find new prospects? Check. Prioritize your prospecting based on business revenue growth? Check. Identify and enter new markets? Check. Get a “first contact” advantage that helps you gobble up market share? Check. Manage or even reduce your cost-per-acquisition? Check. Check. 

We see payment providers using our data to grow their business in different ways. One business credits our data with a 50 percent to 60 percent reduction in its cost per acquisition.* Another used our propensity models to target a specific set of new small and mid-sized merchants. In short, the growth potential of this type of data is immense. 

Wow your customers with fast, merchant-friendly onboarding.

The phrase “time is money” has never been more relevant than it is in today’s payments space. Being able to swiftly and securely onboard new merchants gives you a big advantage over providers that can’t.  

For starters, it can help reduce merchant friction which speeds onboarding and connects your merchants to revenue in less time. For payment providers, faster onboarding helps increase throughput which can help grow your revenue at a faster pace, while also helping control onboarding costs. It’s also a notable brand differentiator, tangible proof of your customer-first commitment that sets a responsive tone for a long, profitable relationship. 

Think about it like this: speed, simplicity, and efficiency are no longer “good-to-have” advantages; they’re table stakes in today’s on-demand world. If you can’t deliver, merchants will find it elsewhere.  

At Equifax, we understand the importance of speed in this industry—it’s everything. Our proprietary mix of data digs deeper into the backgrounds of businesses to ensure that you intimately know your customers, and understand their business models and the corresponding risk to your organization. This intelligence allows you to more effectively play in e-commerce and other higher margin/higher risk spaces, and help score more customers while managing your risk levels. 

For example, use OneScore for Commercial to better predict delinquencies. Tap our multisource data (including credit and differentiated alternative data) to expand your view and uncover hidden risk and opportunity. Or integrate a tailored mix of tools from our broad suite of solutions within your existing merchant onboarding process to help you: 

  • Say “yes” more often in a variety of payments environments by better understanding smaller businesses that often lack traditional business profiles.

  • Build more holistic merchant views with data from financial and non-financial institutions.

  • Assess the viability of a business and its likelihood of becoming severely delinquent on financial obligations during the first year.

  • Analyze risk based on merchant revenue trends.

  • Detect credit risk related to business owners, principles, and other stakeholders. 

  • Establish omni-channel verification of a business identity to reduce fraud risk. 

  • Perform virtual site inspections for faster onboarding.

Automating and frontloading these business-critical insights helps reduce irritating onboarding friction and connects your merchants to revenue in far less time. In short, it’s a win-win for everyone. 

Know when “shift happens” and take fast action.   

It’s never a matter of “if” market conditions or customer behaviors will shift, but “when.” It can happen gradually or suddenly (hello, 2020). It can be unintentional, or it can be malicious. The thing is, it’s often difficult to spot subtle changes in customer accounts amid the minutia of day-to-day business, especially when you’re not sure where to look.  

But what if you could be alerted to anomalous shifts in customer activity that might point to real risks like money laundering and fraud, and automatically flag the account for review? Or intervene before a merchant business fails or becomes irrevocably delinquent to help protect your bottom line? 

Now you may be able to. Our market-exclusive data helps you better understand ongoing merchant performance so you can proactively manage their accounts based on evolving risks and opportunities as the industry and larger economy continuously churns.  

You’ll have greater insight with direct access to coverage of more than 22 million commercial contracts worth over $1.2 trillion in exposures, 60+ months of business transaction history, over 350 million continuously monitored business names, and much more. This type of authoritative data can help you: 

  • Alert to changing situations that may point to increased risk. 

  • Flag transaction laundering risk by helping identify transactions being processed through different accounts.

  • Manage your evolving regulatory requirements including anti-money laundering regulations.

As conditions change, you can proactively modify your approach to address broader impacts on your prospecting and customer growth strategies. Based on our analyses, we’ve seen this data support a more than 8 percent lift in risk scoring.* It can also help reveal the leading indicators of fraud and failure. As a digital payments provider, anything that’s proven to help in the battle against today’s relentlessly innovative fraudsters is something you want in your arsenal. 

But all that barely scratches the surface of what can be accomplished with access to the right data-driven solutions. I came to Equifax because, here, we’re driving and accelerating real action and results in the payments industry. With our trailblazing mix of proprietary data, actionable insights, and proven industry intelligence, we can help you improve how you find new customers, assess risk, and deepen average customer value. If you’re ready to grow your payments business, pull ahead of your competition, and maybe even move toward industry leadership, give us a call. We know how to help. 

*Results are not guaranteed and may vary based on actual data, situation, and use case. 

Jake Osborne

Jake Osborne

Payments and Fintech Executive

Jake Osborne has twenty years of experience working across Fintech and Payments. He worked through several senior roles within Payment Services at a top 5 bank, joined a start-up to launch a fintech division, and then went on to lead Amazon’s Strategic Payment Partnerships. Jake joined Equifax in 2022 and is currently [...]