What Do You Need to Know About Credit Card Transaction Data

Credit card processors do a lot more than facilitate payments between consumers and credit agencies. The data generated during every transaction is an invaluable tool for understanding consumer behavior and spending habits. Used effectively, this information can help businesses reposition themselves as industry leaders. Even at a low level, transaction data can also prove useful for spotlighting suspicious activity and tackling chargebacks.

What is Card Transaction Data?

Card transaction data is a collective term used to refer to the payment data generated during credit card processing. In the interests of privacy, credit card payments are sorted into groups, with individual credit card holders remaining anonymous.


Card transaction data doesn't just refer to credit card payments. In fact, it's a staple of many different types of payment processing, including debit card transactions. In the past, credit card processors have served as the bridge between merchants and credit companies. Today, transaction data can now be applied to wholly digital transactions that don't rely on a physical card.

Credit Card Transaction Data Levels

Credit card processing levels fall into three different categories, with individual cardholders aggregate into one of these three groups. Cards classed as Level 1 generate exhaustive data during a typical transaction, while Level 3 transactions generate relatively little data.

Level 1

Level 1 transactions are typically encountered in business-to-customer transactions. A typical example would include a consumer using credit card processors to pay for an everyday expense at the store or online. In the case of Level 1 payment processing, relatively little transaction data is generated. It generally only includes the transaction amount, the merchant name, as well as the date of the transaction itself.

Level 2

Level 2 payments are usually encountered with business-to-business transactions and are a staple of B2B payments. Unlike Level 1 payments, they face stricter payment control measures. They're commonly used by big businesses and government agencies to monitor employee spending. While datasets are more exhaustive, Level 2 processing helps simplify B2B transactions. This results in expedited service for customers and clients while allowing for more robust accounting.

Level 3

Typically seen with high-level corporate spending and government agencies, this is the most detailed level of credit card processing. As with Level 2 payments, Level 3 transactions allow for in-depth reporting. A dataset generated during a Level 3 transaction is substantial. It includes all the information found with a Level 1 and Level 2 transaction. In addition, information like product codes and descriptions, order quantities, tax, and more are included.

Benefits of Card Transaction Data for Your Business

All categories of card transaction data can benefit businesses. At the lowest level, payment data provides companies with oversight of potential transaction issues. Furthermore, this data can be used to detect potential fraud. As well as making it easy to unearth and stamp out suspicious activity, card transaction data can be used to reduce the incidence of costly chargebacks.


It also makes it straightforward for companies to hone in on specific datasets. This lets businesses build a clear picture of the complete customer journey. By better understanding consumer behavior, businesses can reframe their product and service offerings. This protects existing revenue streams and helps businesses identify lucrative growth opportunities.


Companies can also use transaction data for competitor analysis purposes. By comparing your data against the competition, you can determine the health of your operation. If your volumes are falling short, you'll need to rethink the way you do business.

What to Consider When Choosing a Card Transaction Data Source?

There are several sources of credit card transaction data. Businesses can access consumer data directly through point-of-sale, debit, and credit card transactions. These sources tend to provide the most relevant insights for businesses looking to stamp out fraud or tackle chargebacks.


Although useful for businesses looking to assess the health of their operation, some companies may find it useful to seek data elsewhere. Card transaction datasets can be readily acquired from third-party suppliers.


For the right price, companies can use this data to glean insights into their industry as a whole. These datasets are particularly useful for carrying out competitor analysis and can be invaluable for identifying untapped growth opportunities.


If you're focused on fraud prevention and cost control, receipts from credit card processors should prove more than sufficient. If you're eager to capitalize on new revenue streams, it makes sense to source third-party datasets.


Payment processing data is more than just a digital receipt of business transactions. Admittedly, small to medium-sized businesses can use it for such purposes. However, there's plenty of scope for monitoring fraudulent activity and identifying growth potential. At higher levels, transaction data is an invaluable resource for B2B payments. Allowing for in-depth monitoring and robust accounting, it's a must for keeping any operation afloat financially.

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