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Glossary of Credit Card Processing

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely used as a method of payment at the point of sale systems. On the consumer side the payment process is rather simple: regardless of the credit card type one signs an authorization and the charge appears on the monthly bill. Merchants, however, are faced with many decisions and difficulties related to credit card authorization and settlement. Accounting, security, performance and value are of great concern. CreditLine addresses those issues and hides the complexity from the end user, while offering a swarm of features, excellent flexibility and tough security.

Credit Card Processors

Credit card processors are responsible for receiving credit card information, passing it on to the banks and returning any necessary information regarding the credit card. Processors charge various fees for their services. CreditLine acts as a broker by allowing to switch between processors to minimize the impact of the processor fees on the customer. CreditLine uses internet or the attached modems to communicate to credit card processors over phone lines. CreditLine allows a different Processor to be associated with each card type available.

Credit Card Transaction Types

Authorization, Sale

Also known as Sale, Authorization is a temporary reduction in the credit limit of the card. If Authorization is not included in Batch, the credit limit is restored and merchant does not receive any funds.

  • CreditLine contacts Processor associated with the card to be authorized.
  • CreditLine transmits Account Number, Expiration Date and Amount to Processor
  • Processor debits the credit limit of the card by Amount and transmits back Authorization Code.

Pre-Authorization

Pre-Authorization is used to make sure that the card is valid and has sufficient credit limit. There is NO temporary reduction in the credit limit of the card. Merchant does not receive any funds.

  • CreditLine contacts Processor associated with the card to be authorized.
  • CreditLine transmits Account Number, Expiration Date and Amount to Processor
  • Processor transmits back Authorization Code.

Forced Authorization

Forced Authorization is used when a connection to processor is not possible or desirable. It is a quick but unsafe way to do Authorization. CreditLine does NOT contact Processor to get Authorization Code for Forced Authorizations. Instead, the Forced transaction is saved and is included in the next Batch. If Force is not included in Batch  or Processor does not approve the transaction at Batch time, merchant does not receive any funds.

Return, Credit

Return or Credit serves to credit the customerís credit card account. If the Return is not included in Batch customerís account does not receive any funds. CreditLine  does NOT contact Processor to get Authorization Code for Returns. Instead, the credit transaction is saved and is included in the next Batch. In this respect Return is similar to Forced Authorization. If Return is not included in Batch, the credit limit is restored and customer does not receive any funds.

Batch

Also known as End-Of-Day Batch or Settlement, Batch confirms, settles and clears all credit card transactions with the designated processors. After batch is complete merchantís account receives the money from customer credit card accounts. At the end of each day a batch should be run to settle all purchases and prepare for the next day.

  • CreditLine contacts Processor designated for Settlement.
  • CreditLine transmits Account Numbers, Expiration Dates, Amounts and other relevant information of EVERY transaction to Processor.
  • Processor transmits back Batch Completion Code.

Network

Depending on your installation, an operational Windows network must be in place to allow communication between Server, Manager and Point Of Sale Application. In some cases file based transport serves as the network counterpart.

Modem

At least one modem has to be connected and set-up in Windows. CreditLine allows users to associate one modem per each card type to speed up processing (Multiple Modems). CreditLine automatically initializes modems with strings optimized for fastest connection and performance.