Transaction Processor

What is Transaction Processing?

Transaction processing involves completing and verifying standard transactions to ensure quality standards are met and an audit trail. It may also involve researching and resolving client inquiries and escalating unusual transactions for resolution as appropriate.

Is it for me?

Do you enjoy working in a deadline-driven environment where tasks need to be completed with speed, accuracy and reliability? Are you detail-oriented and able to identify discrepancies in data and information? Do you possess basic mathematical skills? Are you proficient at keyboarding? Are you able to effectively manage your time? If so, Transaction Processor may be an ideal entry level position for you.
Transaction Processor

What is the role of a Transaction Processor?

Transaction Processors are responsible for performing straightforward and routine tasks such as balancing, and verifying incoming/outgoing transactions to ensure quality standards and audit trail, conducting research and resolving inquiries. Transaction Processors are also accountable for identifying any unusual transactions and escalating these to the appropriate parties for resolution.

Work Context for this Role

Transaction Processors work in a deadline-driven environment. There are strict timelines related to processing of transactions. Failure to complete transactions within the required timeframe could result in a financial impact to the organization and/or the clients.

Individuals in this role need to be able to prioritize work to meet changing demands and be ready to respond to increased work volume.

The list below illustrates some examples:

  • When particular stock markets close, it determines daily deadlines for processing sale/purchase of stocks.
  • For fund management organizations, when individuals are seeking to maximize their Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) funds, they may have increased work volume.
  • For organizations that provide time sensitive services to clients, such as wire transfers of funds, processors must complete transactions within a designated time frame.

A consistently high level detail orientation, and sense of urgency are required as there is typically a high volume of tasks to be completed within a transaction queue which requires accurate processing within the organization’s systems.

Transaction Processors work regular daytime office hours and typically have scheduled breaks and lunch time.

French language skills may be required as many transactions received are from the province of Quebec where French is the first language. There is some demand for multi-lingual processors when financial institutions are operating on a global level.

There are two levels of this role:

  • Transaction Processor
  • Senior Transaction Processor

A Senior Transaction Processor carries out more complex administrative tasks, performs some verification/investigation of information outside of normal procedures, and may be involved in providing work direction and training to first level processors.

Areas of Focus

Transaction Processors focus on processing tasks and transactions. To be effective in this role it is necessary to complete tasks with speed, accuracy and reliability.

Transaction processing is required in many different areas of business; and may also include new account set up in addition to the sample list below:

  • Finance and Accounting – processing of accounts payable, accounts receivable, invoices, cheques, wire transfers
  • Lending – processing of forms, loan application, mortgages applications
  • Insurance processing – processing of claims, policies, case management (transactions processors in insurance may be responsible for managing client portfolios and coordination of claims / policy issuance )
  • Wealth management – trades such as purchase and sale of mutual funds, redemptions, trading, switches

Qualifications For This Role

Education

Required soft skills

  • Highly detail-oriented
  • Processing and/or reconciliation of information or data

Required knowledge skills

  • Regulatory and Legislative Policy & Procedures for the Financial Sector

Required technical skills

  • Analytical Thinking: Problem Solving and Reasoning

Other training

For senior level processors who are responsible for specific types of transactions, additional knowledge/training may be required, such as Canadian Securities Course may be helpful for those processing transactions related to mutual funds, or knowledge of pension funds for those administering retirement savings plan transactions


Job Duties

Process tasks as assigned

Key Activities:

  • Follow the established processes and procedures for given tasks using organization software systems to perform standard transactions
  • Work from an assigned queue of transactions to be processed though printed lists / hard copy requests can also be provided to processors
  • Cross-check for accuracy of data and information and ensure that sufficient details are provided for the transaction
  • Be efficient in the processing of each task within the required timeframe; while the quantity of transactions is dependent upon the type of transactions being processed some transaction processors may be expected to complete 200 or more transactions per day
  • Resolve inquiries with regards to transactions processed; for example, there may be verification calls from other financial institutions, clients questioning when a transaction can be, or was, completed, or internal inquiries
  • Ensure proper documentation and authorization for each transaction; including being aware of Anti-Money Laundering regulations and reporting suspect activity

Provide administrative & team support

Key Activities:

  • Act as a knowledge resource where required
  • Input data and maintain accuracy of all records in databases/spreadsheets/other tracking software systems
  • Create and generate daily, weekly, monthly reports where required
  • Assist other processors in the event of high queue volume in other areas or processing deadlines that are in jeopardy of not being met that are dependent upon external factors (i.e. trading deadlines, investment deadlines)
  • Assist in the training and development of new processors to the team
  • Provide feedback to supervisor regarding suggestions for process improvements and system issues

Ensure quality standards and audit trail

Key Activities:

  • Ensure accuracy of data for both input and output in a transaction (e.g., in the case of an fund transfer requested via hard copy paper, ensures that the request was keyed in correctly to the organization’s system such that the funds are transferred to and from the correct accounts)
  • Identify any discrepancies and determine how to proceed, for example: a transaction processor would receive regular reports showing all transactions posted for a specified time period. They must then perform routine balancing, if the transactions are not balanced (i.e., debits equal to credits) then the processor must go through transactions within that period and find the error in their work and correct it
  • Determine when to resolve issues within own area of responsibility and follow the appropriate steps in accordance with established policies, procedures and guidelines
  • Seek additional information from appropriate parties when a requested transaction cannot be completed or all paperwork/information has not been filled in correctly; this can include contacting the party who requested the transaction, or, deferring to another role within the organization to clarify the request (i.e. Resolutions Team)
  • Utilize key contacts in the organization to answer any questions and escalate issues for resolution where required to the appropriate parties
  • Follow up as required and ensure all required documentation and information has been updated on outstanding, or completed, transactions

Career Path

Moving into the role

To move into a Transaction Processor role, you need to have attention to detail, enjoy working with data and information and have an aptitude for using technology since most transactions are recorded using the software and systems of the organization.

This technology is often evolving and becoming more sophisticated which has both simplified the role as there are higher levels of controls on the role which eliminate chances for human error, but also requires incumbents in the role to be comfortable with learning software systems to be able to process transactions.

Progression beyond the role

As you gain experience in the Transaction Processor role, you may move into the following positions.

  • Customer Service Representative (CSR) or other roles in Customer Service
  • Other operationally focused roles such as those involving problem resolution in a different area of the organization or business contingency planning

Career Impact

The main external factor that can influence the qualifications for the role is technology. With more advanced technology there is a need for a candidate to possess stronger computer skills and knowledge. However, processors will still need to be familiar with older processes as not all financial institutions may be able to work from high tech systems; particularly in the case of dealing with smaller global financial institutions.

As transactions are more frequently becoming global; knowledge of foreign exchange globally is becoming a requirement. Historically only Canada – US exchange was the priority.


Demand Outlook

There is a steady demand for transaction processing and this role continues to be necessary. It is important to note that some organizations in the financial services industry outsource this work to third party organizations that are also looking to hire qualified candidates to perform transaction processing work.

As technology improves, from a systems level, the speed and accuracy of transactions is becoming more efficient, requiring less human inputs to process transactions. However, this is balanced by the increasing types of transactions available to clients that have increased the volume of transactions clients make on a regular basis. For example, whereas clients may have withdrawn funds and paid for items in cash and limited their interaction with a bank to one transaction, now clients may prefer to pay via credit, debit, e-mail money transfer, or even mobile money transfer via a phone application which require more processing on behalf of the organization providing financial services.

It is not uncommon for financial institutions to hire transactions processors on a temporary basis (i.e., summer student, contract employee) when the organizations expect an increase in transactions due to external factors (i.e. investment deadlines for RRSP contributions).



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