Keeping Card Data Fresh with Batch and Real-Time Account Updater Solutions


Andy Barker

Senior Product Lead

July 3, 2024

July 3, 2024

July 3, 2024

Here at Pagos, we’re laser focused on one ultimate goal for all businesses: payments optimization. We want you to process payments at peak efficiency, driving approvals and revenue, minimizing declines, and keeping the cost of payments acceptance at manageable levels. With products designed to help you make the most of your payments data and take action with powerful payments technologies, we have everything you need to get there—all without requiring you to change anything about your existing payments stack.

One such product is Loon, our global account updater service. Loon ensures that your vaulted global card credentials from Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex are always kept current and usable. Whether a customer’s card is reissued due to fraud, expiration, or because the customer reported it lost, Loon allows you to request updated card credentials without any action needed from the cardholder. Keep your processors and your vault providers; Loon sits on top of your current setup, keeping all of your cards updated and ready for processing globally through any of your partners. 

At this point in time, we offer two ways to interact with Loon: batch and real-time. This blog post will delve into the differences between Loon's batch and real-time services, and explore the uses for each.

But First…Why Account Updater?

Loon is a global account updater solution that prevents cards in your vault from going stale, meaning you’ll never attempt transactions with outdated card credentials. This can significantly increase approval rates, reducing the number of declined transactions and the costs associated with processing these failed attempts. For businesses built around subscription, installment, or recurring payments, employing an account updater strategy also helps reduce churn and maximize customer lifetime value (LTV), as customers aren’t unintentionally lost due to declined payments. 

These benefits boost your bottom line and ultimately delight customers who would otherwise see a disruption in their relationship with you. When subscription or repeat customers don’t face issues using their stored payment credentials at checkout, you’ll see happier customers who are more likely to not only make repeat purchases, but to even become advocates for your brand. Plus, by keeping these customers happy, you prevent your business from having to spend more marketing dollars pulling in new customers through your sales funnel to make up for lost revenue.

For more information on account updater and the benefits it can provide your business, check out our Account Updater and Getting Started With Loon guides in the Pagos Product Documentation.

Batch Loon: Proactive Updates

Our primary Loon product is a batch account updater service. Via the Loon API, you can send us a batch of Primary Account Numbers (PANs) and automatically receive updated credentials for any outdated PANs. Regularly sending your stored card data to Loon in batches ensures that your vaulted card data is always fresh and up-to-date, leading to successful future transactions. This service is ideal for subscription and recurring business models, where it's crucial to have card details updated before charging them. 

Batch Loon is a cost-effective solution, as you only pay for the updates you need. In other words, you can send all your cards to Loon at any time, but you’ll only be charged for those requiring updates. You can optimize costs even further by only sending us the cards you prioritize updates for, such as those belonging to frequent buyers.  Loon also supports batch updates for cards from all four major card brands—Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex; as such, you save time and money by leaving Pagos to manage relationships and integrations with the card brands and keep up with regulation or technology changes.

Real-Time Loon: Immediate Solutions

Real-Time Loon is a version of the account updater service that pulls updated card details from Visa and Mastercard in real time and can be used at the time of a transaction. You can design your checkout flow such that any card declined with a reason code of stolen_card_fraud, lost_card_fraud, expired_card, or even generic_decline is automatically sent to Real-Time Loon for an update. If an update is available, Loon will respond with the new card details and you can try the transaction again. From the customer’s perspective, the payment authorization step may take an extra second, but they won’t see any issue or need to take any action—and you’ll save the sale!

Real-Time Loon is especially valuable for updating payment credentials for customers who have recently reported their cards lost or stolen. Below, you’ll see sample payments data for one merchant over the course of a single month; in that time period, they saw more than $15 million in declined transactions with expired, lost, or stolen reason codes. With Real-Time Loon, these declines don’t have to be final. Instead, you can take direct action to cut down on the revenue losses they’d otherwise cause!

Remember, if you submit a card to Real-Time Loon and the card brands don’t have an update, you won’t be charged for the request. This means you can request updates at checkout for all generic declines (i.e. transactions declined with the reason code of generic_decline) just to test how many of these failures are actually related to outdated card details. In this way, Real-Time Loon becomes an important tool in your tool box to test, learn, and recover declines from issuers when they decline transactions generically and not with specific decline codes related to lost, stolen, or expired cards.

Keep in mind, Real-Time Loon is only supported by Mastercard and Visa transactions at this time.

A Perfect Union: Using Batch and Real-Time Loon Together

When it comes to batch and real-time account updater services, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. In fact, they work best when used together! You can proactively use Batch Loon to keep your stored card data fresh by requesting updates on cards with upcoming expiration dates or subscription renewal dates. Then, Real-Time Loon can handle any last-minute updates required when cards are inevitably lost, stolen, or replaced since your last batch request. This dual approach ensures that your business can maintain smooth and successful transactions, enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing churn.

You may even want to advertise to your customers that you have a robust system in place for keeping their information updated in case of expired, lost, or stolen cards. Doing so can further enhance their trust and loyalty to your brand, and give them peace of mind when their card credentials change.

Get Started Today!

With Loon, whether you choose batch or real-time, you’re in complete control. You decide which cards to update and when, meaning you can prioritize updates for cards associated with higher average order values or more valuable customer segments if necessary. Ultimately, using an account updater through Loon is beneficial for all transactions, ensuring that you can maintain up-to-date card information on file for your customers, enhancing their experience, and getting your business one big step closer to payments optimization. 

Contact us today to add Loon to your payments strategy!

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