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Mastercard Integrated Product Message (IPM) files

The Mastercard Global Clearing Management System (GCMS) is an integral part of the Mastercard Authorisation, Clearing and Settlement process. As part of this system, Mastercard issues various files formatted in the so-called Integrated Product Message or IPM format. Amongst the most well-known of these, is the Mastercard T112 IPM file.

Before we discuss the T112 and IPM file formats in detail, where does the GCMS come into play during a Mastercard transaction? Well, to explain this, we need to understand that each Mastercard transaction is split into three different distinct phases: 

  • Firstly, the Authorization phase, which happens in real time, and during which Mastercard, the merchant and finally issuer banks intercommunicate to check the validity of the card, the identity of the cardholder who has presented the card, and overall financial authorization for the requested purchase
  • Secondly, the Clearing phase occurs, typically within one or two days of the initial authorization, during which the merchant bank for the previous day’s transaction, submits a list of authorized transactions to Mastercard for validation and reconciliation with the cardholder’s account and issuing bank. As you might have guessed, it is the GCMS which is responsible for the operations which occur in this phase of a Mastercard transaction
  • Finally, the Settlement phase occurs, during which the issuer bank sends settlement funds to Mastercard, which are then used to settle debts with the various merchants and acquirers who first acquired the initial transactions

As one might expect, Mastercard T112 report files, as can be guessed from their name, form an integral part of the above transactions, because it is these files which are used to report back to Mastercard members, a myriad of data regarding their processed transactions. 

The Integrated Product Message (IPM) file format

Although a specific Mastercard format, the IPM file format is based on the well-known ISO8583 financial messaging format, with which it shares various concepts such as the Message Type Indicator (MTI) as well as various primary and secondary bitmaps, which indicate the presence of additional ‘data elements’ later one in each file. These data elements contain a treasure trove of information relating to a Mastercard member’s transactions, however, since these elements are Mastercard specific, each DE must be ratified against the official Mastercard IPM file specifications to derive (and then extract) their meaning. In addition, IPM files may be encoded using one of 2 different encoding schemes to ensure the integrity and consistency of the data included in each file, meaning that before the transaction data can be extracted, each block of file data must first be decoded and reassembled, before being extracted. 

Examples of the data contained in Mastercard T112 IPM files includes:

  • Currency exchange rates used in each transaction
  • Product messages send to and from Mastercard
  • Chargeback data
  • Financial position data
  • Message exception (rejected transaction) data
  • and many other very useful pieces of data

T112 IPM file parsing

Because of the complexity of the file and blocking formats used in Mastercard IPM file formats, sometimes, much of the valuable data described above is not immediately available for digestion by Mastercard members. 

This is where Afferent Software’s T112 Report Generator can help! 

 The T112 Report Generator 

In order to make the extraction and analysis of the data in Mastercard T112 IPM files more easy and user friendly, Afferent Software has developed the T112 Report Generator application as part of our Mastercard file processing suite of products. 

In addition to doing all the hard work of decoding the raw Mastercard T112 files, the T112 Report Generator extracts a myriad of useful data from the IPM file, and collates this into a well structured, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, allowing you to take control of your Mastercard transaction data. Each report includes:

  • Summary of agglomerated and per currency financial position,
  • Summary of agglomerated chargeback and fee collection data (including value)
  • Chargeback Detail data, 
  • File Currency data,
  • Financial Position Detail data,
  • Settlement Position Detail data,
  • Messaging Exception Detail data,
  • Reject Detail data,
  • Fee Collection Detail data,
  • Exchange Rate Detail data,
  • and Transaction Detail data

What more could you ask for?!

For more information about our Mastercard file processing utilities, or any of our other testing software, please feel free to check out our Scheme Utilities product pages or contact us at schemeutilities@afferentsoftware.com.