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