Payment Analytics: Definition, Use Cases, & More

Payment analytics help organizations gain visibility into financial patterns, supplier relationships, and operational efficiency. Understanding these patterns can ultimately help inform business operations and improve outcomes. In this blog we will outline the different ways that payment analytics can help gain organizational insights and grow your business.

State of AP Report 2021 Download

What is Payment Analytics?

Simply put, payment analytics is the process of analyzing supplier payment data to gain useful insights. Modern businesses rely on data, and it’s typically up to finance leaders to use this data to inform stakeholders at the end of each quarter. Analytics yield KPIs that enable more strategic decisions and allow organizations to remain competitive.

But analyzing data manually can require downloading spreadsheets, crunching numbers, and organizing it into high-level reports, which eats up valuable time and resources. Not only that, but when AP processes are manual, the associated data is often siloed and inaccessible to other departments, including finance. This can lead to poorly defined metrics and KPIs that don’t show the whole picture, which negatively impacts decision-making around key AP items.

Some organizations avoid modifying their current payment analytics processes, however, because of budgetary constraints, lack of technical resources, or concerns about how to integrate new systems into their workflow. It takes the right automated AP system with embedded analytics capabilities to overcome these concerns and start providing valuable insights while reducing manual effort.

Why is Payment Analytics Important?

Payment analytics provides businesses with valuable insights that can drive financial performance, improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and support strategic decision-making. In addition, payment analytics can help businesses stay competitive by providing them with insight to help mitigate risks associated with payment fraud and achieve long-term success in today’s data-driven business landscape.

What are Examples of Payment Data?

Payment data refers to any personal or financial information that can be collected from a payment method. An example of this includes information about individual transactions, such as the transaction amount, date and time of the transaction, the payment method that was used (credit card, debit card, virtual card, etc.). For AP automation solutions, like MineralTree, metrics such as payment costs, discounts and rebates are another example of payment data.

How Payment Analytics Helps Achieve Business Success

Visibility into critical data is becoming more important than ever. With automated analytics, all underlying data is bundled into analytics dashboards to uncover insights. For example, MineralTree Analytics provides comprehensive, real-time visibility into every aspect of the AP process, which can lead to improved cash flow, a better understanding of suppliers, cost reductions, and more.

Optimize Cash Flow

Embedded payment analytics can improve an organization’s flow of cash by providing real time metrics on payables age, invoice status, and pending authorizations as well as forecasts that enable better planning and future-proofing. This type of information makes it easier for the AP department to do their job, prioritize payment workflows, and improve efficiency.

Insights produced by embedded payment analytics also lead to reduced costs by enabling optimization of payment mix, and the ability to view top vendors by spend, payment method, or volume.

Other features such as the ability to track the rate of error as a percentage of total invoices paid provides a better understanding of your company’s overall operational health. Visibility into incorrect payments, duplicate payments, and overpayments also makes it much easier to find and correct such errors and prevent them in the future.

Optimizing when and how you pay your vendors also allows you to capitalize on early-pay discounts and virtual card rebates, and avoid late fees, duplicate payments, or overcharges.

Gain Insight into Internal KPIs and Metrics

Digitizing the end-to-end AP process using a system that has advanced analytics capabilities not only eliminates tedious manual tasks associated with payment analytics, but it allows organizations to streamline audits. There is no longer a need to chase down information, number crunch, and produce reports. It all happens automatically.

Instead, you can leverage a central repository of invoice and payment history to create instant reports whenever you need them. Having internal KPIs and metrics always at your fingertips allows your organization to become proactive and able to make changes before issues arise instead of being reactive. This is increasingly important not only because of the ever-accelerating pace of business, but because of persistent supply chain woes that are predicted to remain with us into the near future.

MineralTree enables automation of your AP analysis with visual dashboards for all your data across payments, invoices and vendors. You can view aggregate metrics such as payment costs and rebates earned, or filter by business unit, vendor, or time period as needed. The ability to effectively track important metrics and KPIs leads to improved decision-making.

For example, tracking something like the total number of invoices received allows AP departments to better allocate time and resources. Knowing the average time it takes to process an invoice can help reveal gaps in efficiency. Analyzing your organization’s average time to process an invoice and average cost to process an invoice side by side can help you identify additional places for improvement.

Improve Supplier Relationships

Payment analytics use cases that enhance relationships with suppliers run the gamut and include the ability to:

  • Define and identify key suppliers so that those relationships may be prioritized.
  • Gain insight into supplier utilization including how much and how often you are spending with individual suppliers.
  • Narrow down suppliers who are at risk of churn by viewing payment terms, payment status, and invoice status.
  • Improve supplier negotiations with insights from payment track records and payment costs.
  • Understand your payment mix and whether virtual cards may improve supplier payment experience.
  • Determine how efficiently you are paying suppliers with metrics such as payment terms, payment status, and days payable outstanding.
  • Mitigate the negative impact of supply chain issues with a proactive approach.

What Insights Can Be Derived from Payments Data?

There are a variety of insights that come from payments data that help influence decision-making and improve overall business performance. Some of the key insights that can be derived from payments data include:

  • Payment Types and Methods
  • Transaction Amounts
  • Revenue Analysis
  • Fraud Detection and Risk Management
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Market Trends

How MineralTree’s AP Automation Platform can Help

MineralTree’s TotalAP AP Automation Platform offers packages with embedded analytics and an interactive visualization tool to help you unlock valuable insights into your AP workflows, payments optimization, cash flow, and security. Users gain access to real-time dashboards to track metrics, such as invoice aging, early pay discounts, rebates earned, and payment mix.
This solution significantly reduces time spent seeking data and processing reports, freeing managers to focus on analyzing the impact of AP while enabling finance leaders to optimize working capital and align AP activities with strategic priorities and industry best practices.

Built upon MineralTree’s seamless integration with customers’ financial systems, MineralTree Analytics consolidates data from multiple workflows, providing rich visualizations of KPIs and the ability to explore and interact with data on a deeper level. If you’re ready to gain a deeper understanding of your AP performance and improve your business decision-making, consider requesting a demo today.

State of AP Report 2021 Download


We're transforming accounting by automating Accounts Payable and B2B Payments for mid-sized companies. Our award-winning solution has helped over one thousand businesses transform accounts payable from a source of inefficiency and fraud risk to a secure and strategic profit center that provides visibility into key cost drivers.