Category Manager boosts performance of Strands solutions

Strands is proud to announce Category Manager: a massive upgrade to the backend of digital money management tools Strands BFM and Strands PFM: the digital banking platform trusted by more than 180 banks around the world.

With updated features, sleeker UI and lightning-fast analytics, Category Manager is a powerful new performance management tool that will help bank marketers and data managers understand and deliver even more value to their customers. This backoffice module shows the bank exactly how the categorization engine is performing, and in turn improves the performance of each solution.

Strands PFM Backoffice Activity Log


Let’s take an example: when the bank sends transaction data to Strands PFM, either in a batch process or in real time, the transactions are categorized and displayed in a way the end user can easily understand and work with. But since the overall functionality of Strands PFM is based on transaction categorization, it is of the utmost importance that this process runs smoothly and efficiently. That means the categorization engine must strike the perfect balance between coverage, precision and accuracy at all times.

Although certain categories rely on official merchant IDs, sometimes these identifiers don’t reflect the actual transaction very well. Let’s take the example of PayPal, which is automatically categorized as “Bills and Utilities” based on the official merchant code. However, that Spotify Family subscription you are buying with Paypal should probably in a different category, like “Music” or “Entertainment”.

The module provides an easy way to navigate and manage all the categorization rules. The user can edit underperforming categories by creating new rules, changing the order, or re-categorizing our Paypal example to make sure Paypal * Spotify is categorized as Music instead of Bills & Utilities.

Users can rest easy knowing that every time they make a change, the system performs applicability, integration and coverage tests to make sure this change won’t affect other rules. What’s more, the system automatically detects and recommends improvements based on the collective usage of the Strands solution to ensure optimal levels of coverage, precision and accuracy.


  • Daily Activity Log
  • Historical Performance Analysis
  • Streamlined Rules Management System
  • Advanced Testing for Controlled Changes
  • Automatic Recommendations for Continuous Improvement


To build Category Manager, our Design and Product Teams followed an agile process. “Our initial wireframes were completely different,” said Product Manager Ivan Tarradellas. “As we prototyped the UI and incorporated feedback from our clients, we made small adjustments and tradeoffs in favour of simplicity, without sacrificing functionality. The design evolved in an impressive way, thanks to our designers, engineers and clients working closely together in a continuous iterative process. We are very excited to see this solution go live very soon in one of Europe’s biggest banks.”

Interested in learning more about how automatic transaction categorization works? Take a deep dive with our white paper: Design Principles of Transaction Categorization.

Download White Paper