Real-time credit card feeds

What Are Real-Time Feeds, and Why Do They Matter

July 21, 2023
Min Read

As an accountant, you know how tedious and time-consuming it can be to collect expense reports and reconcile credit card expenses. 

What if there was a solution that could reduce the time it took for employees to submit expenses, and automatically reconcile them with credit card statements?

Real-time credit card feeds enable all of this, and they’re finally here.

What Are Real-Time Feeds and How Are They Different From Direct Bank Feeds and Statement Uploads?

Real-time credit card feeds are card transaction data received directly from credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard, without depending on the issuing bank. This data is received as soon as a transaction happens, and can then be used to track and control spending, reconcile card transactions without any manual effort, track budgets, and identify fraudulent transactions.

Direct bank feeds connect to your bank account to import transactions into your accounting software at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your card program. The problem with bank feeds is that they are often not available for SMB customers, and when they are, they’re not real-time. The lag of a week or month means the reconciliation process also follows the weekly or monthly schedule, instead of happening instantly.

Statement upload is the process of manually uploading credit card statements into your expense management software (EMS) when it's made available by the bank. Accountants don't prefer statement uploads as the gap between when the transaction is made and when the bank provides the statement leads to delayed reconciliations, incomplete financial insights, and increased errors, like mismatched receipts, missing transactions, and incorrect categorization. They also need the owner's banking credentials and MFA codes to access accounts which can be time-consuming.

Why Choose Real-Time Credit Card Feeds Over Direct Bank Feeds and Statement Uploads?

Direct bank feeds and statement uploads lead to many challenges, such as a lag in financial reporting, delayed reconciliation, and missed opportunities to optimize spending or curb fraudulent transactions. 

Real-time credit card feeds can help businesses overcome these challenges by providing up-to-date information, automating reconciliation, and helping to detect fraud more quickly.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how real-time credit card feeds are more beneficial to your business than direct bank feeds and statement uploads.

Benefits Real-time credit card feeds Direct bank feeds Statement uploads
Timely receipt submissions Employees get notified to submit the receipt as soon as the transaction is made at the POS. Accountants can save valuable time as receipts are instantly matched to transactions. Employees don’t get notified instantly as direct bank feeds are not real-time, leading to constant reminders, lost or forgotten receipts, human errors, and delayed expense report submissions. Employees and accountants have to wait till the credit card statement is available, leading to mismatched receipts and error-prone reconciliations.
Reconciliation without human intervention Card transaction is reconciled with the uploaded receipt instantly, saving time and eliminating manual effort. Depending on your card program, manual matching must be done when the card data is available. Accountants must wait until the bank makes the card statements available to upload and match the transactions manually.
Close books on time Accountants can close books on time as receipts are tracked instantly, credit card transactions are reconciled automatically, and expense reports are submitted without delay. Getting card spend data could take days to weeks with direct feeds. This combined with delayed receipt submissions, human errors, and manual reconciliations, could lead to not closing books on time. Accountants cannot close books on time as they must wait for card statements, upload them, gather and match receipts, resolve errors, and reconcile transactions.
Visibility and financial forecasting Connecting directly to card networks gives accountants a more accurate and up-to-date view of their spending. This information can help track budgets and cash flow, identify spending patterns, and make data driven financial decisions. With delayed visibility and often broken or inaccurate feeds, businesses have to depend on outdated data to make crucial financial decisions. Statement uploads come with significant delays and lack information like pending transactions from the bank leading to limited financial insights and inaccurate forecasting.
Compliance and fraud detection Real-time card data can help businesses detect suspicious and unauthorized transactions, enabling proactive fraud detection and policy compliance. Direct bank feeds lack the same level of control and compliance as checks happen only a few days after the expense is made. Statement uploads make detecting fraud and blocking suspicious spend nearly impossible, as you see transaction data only weeks after the transaction is made.

How Fyle Is Different From Other Expense Management Solutions

Fyle is a comprehensive expense management software that goes beyond other expense management solutions. We integrate directly with Visa and Mastercard to bring real-time feeds on your existing business credit cards, so you don’t have to depend on your bank or card program.

Why Fyle’s real-time feeds is the best way to manage card expenses

  • Instant text notifications on card spend: Employees receive text notifications as soon as a transaction is made, often while they are at the PoS with the receipt in their hand. They can reply to the SMS with a picture of the receipt, and Fyle matches it to the correct card transaction automatically. Businesses saw a 48.7% jump in timely receipt submissions with instant text notifications!
Fyle enables instant text notifications on card spend for all Visa and Mastercards
  • Automated reconciliations without manual intervention: Since Fyle has real-time feeds for all Visa & Mastercard business cards, transaction data is reconciled with receipt data within seconds of being uploaded by the user. What took days with direct bank feeds can now be done in less than 2 minutes with Fyle.
GIF of Fyle's real time feeds in action
  • AI-enabled expense coding and integrations: Fyle's AI-powered engine instantly codes card transaction information, reconciles it, and pushes the data to your accounting software like NetSuite, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks Online, or Xero. This reduces a ton of manual work and simplifies the reconciliation process.
Fyle's integrations with QuickBooks, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Xero and more.
  • Real-time policy checks: Fyle instantly detects and notifies accountants of fraudulent card spend with real-time policy checks, making it easier to curb unauthorized spend.

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In Conclusion

Bank feeds and statement uploads are archaic. Fyle’s real-time credit card feeds are the future of expense management for accountants that doesn't force you to change your cards or how you work.

Try Fyle's modern expense management solution with real-time feeds for your existing credit cards.

Close books faster with Fyle.
Schedule a demo now.