To meet customer expectations, PSPs must prioritise end-to-end reconciliations

by Nick Botha, Global Payments Lead at AutoRek

Share this post

PSPs must enhance their end-to-end reconciliations to deliver seamless, efficient payment services and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving fintech landscape. 

The payments sector’s success and growth over the past decade can largely be attributed to firms’ ability to meet and exceed customer’s expectations.

Unlike established banks, fintechs are largely free from the legacy tech stacks that slow down banks from modernising. So, payment service providers (PSPs) can anticipate customer needs and provide services that address their problems.

However, as new PSPs continue to emerge, the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. So, PSPs have to meet changing customer expectations more quickly.

PSPs are facing growing demands

As customers become accustomed to faster, more convenient payment experiences, they expect more embedded, frictionless payment experiences in the future.

Central banks and governments are also picking up on the economic advantage that meeting these customer demands brings.

Last year, the Federal Reserve launched its instant payments service, FedNow, in the US. Chair Jerome H. Powell said it “built the FedNow Service to help make everyday payments over the coming years faster and more convenient” for both households and businesses.

The European Council and European Parliament also reached a provisional decision on its SEPA instant payments proposal, trusting the plans “will improve the availability of instant payment options in euro to consumers and businesses in the EU and in EEA countries.”

And, in November, the HM Treasury launched its Future of Payments Review as part of the Autumn Statement. The report states that the “UK consumer benefits from a world-leading payments experience today – but it could be even better.” To achieve this, the report recommends the government develop a strategy in which improving customer experience is central.

So, PSPs are facing huge pressures to adapt to customer expectations – from both customers and central. Offering faster, more convenient payments is no longer a “nice-to-have” – it’s an essential offering.

Industry leaders have responded by making meeting customer demands their primary focus. But ignoring the role operations play in adapting to a changing landscape would be a massive error.

Operations: The missing link

According to our 2023 payments survey report, we found that 14% of payments firms are not currently profitable. On top of that, one-third (33%) are breaking even.

A contributing factor is underinvestment in operational efficiency, which leads to higher-than-optimal costs as companies focus on developing solutions to their customers’ problems.

By underinvesting in operations, back-office teams get overstretched, and their hiring costs rise as firms require additional headcount to mitigate capacity rather than investing in technology.

By neglecting back-office operations, these firms will likely rely on in-house systems and be heavily dependent on spreadsheets. However, manual processes lack the scalability and flexibility needed to respond quickly to change.

In addition to a lack of flexibility, manual processes raise PSPs’ risk of regulatory breaches and result in poor data control.

How to achieve a robust framework

Firms must solidify their end-to-end reconciliation processes to deliver the seamless payment process that users have come to expect.

To meet customer demands for instant payments like FedNow, it’s important to understand that these changes represent a fundamental shift in how payments operations must work—both holistically and across the end-to-end operational flow. Real-time payments need real-time reconciliations, so slow and inefficient operations won’t cut it anymore.

The first step to improving operations is reviewing your processes from end to end and identifying and correcting any inefficiencies—from data transformation to exception management to reporting. Firms must prioritise and address areas that would benefit most from investment. This is usually where there’s an overreliance on manual tasks.

This ensures firms have processes that can handle any future changes and new customer demands while also being better placed to meet regulatory change.

The bottom line

The payments sector thrives on firms’ ability to exceed customer expectations, with agile fintechs leading industry innovation and front-end development.

However, neglecting operations risks inefficiencies—not to mention regulatory breaches. So, firms must ensure reconciliation processes are efficient from end to end to deliver the frictionless payment experiences customers expect.

By prioritising operations alongside customer-focused innovation, PSPs ensure they achieve sustained growth and relevance in a dynamic, fast-changing payments ecosystem.

More To Explore


Merchant Community Membership

Are you a member of The Payments Association?

Member benefits include free tickets, discounts to more tickets, elevated brand visibility and more. Sign in to book tickets and find out more.


Log in to access complimentary passes or discounts and access exclusive content as part of your membership. An auto-login link will be sent directly to your email.

Having trouble signing?

We use an auto-login link to ensure optimum security for your members hub. Simply enter your professional work e-mail address into the input area and you’ll receive a link to directly access your account.

First things first

Have you set up your Member account yet? If not, click here to do so.

Still not receiving your auto-login link?

Instead of using passwords, we e-mail you a link to log in to the site. This allows us to automatically verify you and apply member benefits based on your e-mail domain name.

Please click the button below which relates to the issue you’re having.

I didn't receive an e-mail

Tip: Check your spam

Sometimes our e-mails end up in spam. Make sure to check your spam folder for e-mails from The Payments Association

Tip: Check “other” tabs

Most modern e-mail clients now separate e-mails into different tabs. For example, Outlook has an “Other” tab, and Gmail has tabs for different types of e-mails, such as promotional.

Tip: Click the link within 60 minutes

For security reasons the link will expire after 60 minutes. Try submitting the login form again and wait a few seconds for the e-mail to arrive.

Tip: Only click once

The link will only work one time – once it’s been clicked, the link won’t log you in again. Instead, you’ll need to go back to the login screen and generate a new link.

Tip: Delete old login e-mails

Make sure you’re clicking the link on the most recent e-mail that’s been sent to you. We recommend deleting the e-mail once you’ve clicked the link.

Tip: Check your security policies

Some security systems will automatically click on links in e-mails to check for phishing, malware, viruses and other malicious threats. If these have been clicked, it won’t work when you try to click on the link.

Need to change your e-mail address?

For security reasons, e-mail address changes can only be complete by your Member Engagement Manager. Please contact the team directly for further help.

Still got a question?