Lodging Authorization Rules Change 2017 – Chargeback Prevention Tips

online booking credit card fraudIn October 2016, Visa quietly announced sweeping changes to rules for card not present transactions in the lodging industry. With online booking technology updates, hotels can increase profits by complying with the new rules, including for guaranteed reservations. Failure to comply may significantly increase financial risk.

A core concept is valid “authorization”, which impacts merchant rights and potentially credit card processing rate qualification. An invalid authorization equates to a no authorization. Card issuers will be within their rights to use reason code 72 and chargeback, or ACH, the funds from merchant bank account on the next settlement day, for failure to comply with the rules. This is a significant change, as in the past, hotels would respond to cardholder initiated disputes, a completely different scenario, and win a good portion of them.

What’s a valid authorization? It’s mostly described in Special Authorization Request Allowances and Requirements. Key elements:

  • Stored credential– rules for storing and what associated data is required on file and what is submitted with transaction- same transaction ID required for all after initial approval
  • Estimated Authorization– indicator as to whether the authorization is an estimate or is final is sent with transaction. Authorization is valid for 31 days. (Originally 14 days, but subsequent bulletin released to change it.)
  • Incremental authorization  – must use same transaction ID as estimate, and submit with incremental authorization indicator
  • Visa now groups transaction types into ‘customer initiated’ and ‘merchant initiated’. For card not present, a transaction is only considered customer initiated, if Verified by Visa is used. Verified by Visa (VbyV) is their brand name for the global 3-D Secure cardholder authentication protocol for card not present transactions.

Updated Checkout Flow For Online Booking:

  • Opt-in to no-show policy, terms and conditions
  • Authenticate cardholder
  • Authorize with the estimate indicator
  • Deliver email confirmation with the policy
  • Incremental auths with same Trans ID only.
  • Close transaction by day 31; partial reversal same transaction ID if applicable.
  • If ticket closed, open new estimated auth.

KEY DATES

  • Effective through 13 October 2017: In the US Region, for Car Rental Merchants, Cruise Lines, and Lodging Merchants, the Merchant must use the Incremental Authorization Request indicator and the same Transaction Identifier for all Authorization Requests.
  • Effective 14 October 2017 Transaction initiated with an Estimated Authorization
  • Verified by Visa cardholder authentication protects lodging merchants immediately from “it wasn’t me” card not present fraud.

Without hotel action to update online booking in advance of the October dates, financial exposure for prior months may be significant.

Christine Speedy, authorized CenPOS reseller provides universal payment processing solutions to maximize merchant profits and mitigate risk across multiple sales channels. To get a CenPOS account and your booking engine compatible plugin contact Christine at 954-942-0483. 

Dynamics AX Online Payment Services Expiring – Replacement

Dynamics users will need to make a major update soon. Effective January 1, 2018, Payments Services for Microsoft Dynamics ERP Payment Services, including any versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX, will be discontinued and users will be unable to process credit or debit transactions after December 31, 2017. CenPOS, an enterprise payment engine, offers an integrated alternative that works seamlessly with both AX and third party applications like Magento ecommerce.

Vendor selection for replacing Payments Services will directly impact profits, efficiency and customer experience. For example, how customers receive, retrieve, and pay invoices are all part of the payment processing ecosystem. Businesses will need an Integrated Service Vendor (ISV) with a PCI Compliant integrated payment gateway. Solution functions, and how they interact with Dynamics AX, varies widely by integration.

Payment processing is a specialized niche that ERP, ecommerce, and business consultants rarely have the in-depth knowledge to advise businesses of best options. In fact, significant new changes have been announced; for example, new requirements for recurring billing to include a unique reference to the initial authorization.

“The Payment processing knowledge gap has been exacerbated by an onslaught of new financial, card brand, and compliance rule changes that show no sign of letting up.” Christine Speedy, CenPOS

CenPOS, an enterprise payment gateway and merchant centric cloud processing platform, is an industry leader in payment processing globally. One of the first to market with both US EMV chip and pin, the CenPOS omnichannel solution maximizes cash flow and profits across all sales channels while improving the customer experience.

CenPOS Dynamics AX Fast Facts:

  • Accounts Receivable Flexibility: Process authorizations, payments and credits:
    • Sales Pickup – Will call, partial order as well as full delivery
    • Journal Entry for Project
    • Free Text Invoices
    • Return Orders
    • Credits, partial credits
    • Sales Orders – Cash and carry
  • Reconciliation Efficiency: automatic daily settlement, single deposit (dependent upon processor setup)
  • Payment types: Accept Check, ACH, credit card, wire, cash, Paypal (Varies by sales channel)
  • Sales Channels; Retail (US & Canada EMV), Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (includes hosted customer invoice portal and automated collections), Ecommerce, Online Payments, other
  • Compatibility: Agnostic- works with most processors, including First Data, Chase Paymentech, Moneris, WorldPay and others.
  • B2B: Certified for level III processing all channels, including retail, a critical element in managing interchange rate qualification, the biggest cost of credit card processing.
  • Availability: Global

See CenPOS Dynamics AX integration in action here: video overview

CenPOS is a merchant-centric, end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement. CenPOS’ secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships.

CenPOS SALES CONTACT: Christine Speedy, cspeedy AT cenposreseller.com 954-942-0483. Dynamics consultants encouraged to contact us to learn more.

Link: Microsoft Official Notice

Credit Card Expiration Updater & Recurring Billing

Are automated recurring billing transactions declining due to expired credit cards? This article identifies methods to automate credit card expiration updating for installment, fixed recurring, and variable recurring token billing transactions.

All credit cards on file are managed at the payment gateway level for PCI Compliance. The ‘token’ is the alpha numeric character set that replaces sensitive card data. Businesses have access to the token, but not the sensitive cardholder data, after it’s stored. With token management, users can update the credit card expiration date manually. No other fields can be modified. If the CVV – CID security code or card number changes, a new token is created for the new card.

Per rules of card acceptance, the actual expiration date must be used. There have been recurring billing software solutions on the market that simply change the expiration date for recurring transactions with expired cards, for example by changing the date by one year. This enabled transactions to go through with an authorization in some cases because the expiration date was not validated by the issuer. However, for chargeback rights, the expiration date must be provided by the Cardholder and must be correct.

Credit Card Expiration Date Updater Methods

  1. Self credit card updating. An email is generated by the recurring billing platform and or payment gateway alerting the cardholder of an upcoming expiration. The cardholder then self-updates their payment method via a web portal. While effective at reducing phone calls for updating, it still requires action by the busy cardholder, thus, many still go unattended until the point that a transaction fails. This impacts profits with attempted transaction fees, the time to manually reach out to customers, and cancellations; We all know that sometimes a customer pays for a service they do not use effectively, but don’t bother to cancel. Once they have to update their card… the revenue stream can be lost.
  2. Automated credit card updating via the card brands. Merchants must register for the service with their merchant services provider, and must have a payment gateway that supports the updater service. Visa and MasterCard charge a one time fee for registration. There’s also a fee per card updated, which varies by merchant services provider; typically, the provider will mark up for profit.

Credit Card Expiration Date Updater Costs

One-time Visa Account Updater (VAU) Setup fee $250, MasterCard Automatic Billing Updater Setup fee $350 per merchant account. The fee per update varies. For example, we charge $.09 as of this writing and clients have been quoted $.30 by other companies.

Recurring Billing Compliance Alert

Significant changes are coming to recurring billing. After the first authorization, all subsequent recurring billing transactions are to include a unique reference to the initial authorization. This must be managed seamlessly in the background at the payment gateway level. Adding a new field to the transaction process is significant and the challenges are likely on par with the launch of US EMV. Expect problems in the next 12-24 months as gateways struggle to comply with these requirements.

Refer to Visa Public Rules, and search for “recurring”, including section 5.9.9 Prepayments, Repeated Payments, and Deferred Payments, for more details.

CenPOS and Credit Card Expiration Date Updater

CenPOS, an enterprise payment gateway and merchant centric processing platform, supports the account updater services. As your CenPOS representative, I can activate the service on CenPOS for you, however, if your merchant services resides with a third party, you’ll still need to register through them. Before proceeding, contact Christine Speedy at 954-942-0483 for more information.

EBPP Improves Dealer Marketshare

Enhancing your customer experience involves many factors, and what happens when it’s time to pay is one of them, whether it’s online, in store or over the phone. The automotive and trucking industries have made significant investments to improve and measure their customer experiences, but failure to change payment technology creates differentiation for consumer choice. Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, EBPP or EIPP, can create a more pleasant and secure consumer experience and can win dealers more marketshare.

eipp payment request

Body of email containing prefilled payment info, and link to securely pay online.

Let’s explore some examples. A dealer recently installed EMV chip card terminals. When a commercial account calls to order parts here are possible scenarios and repercussions:

  • The card number is key entered on the EMV chip terminal. Since the transaction is RETAIL, and the transaction was not swipe or chip, the dealer has no recourse if it’s fraud. Additionally, it will downgrade to the worst interchange rate, possibly doubling the cost to process the transaction. Some customers don’t like to spend the time going through the phone process, so the last touch with them is less than stellar.
  • The card number is key entered on a separate virtual terminal. If the transaction is MOTO, dependent upon merchant account configuration, the dealer has some fraud protection. Some customers don’t like to spend the time going through the phone process, so the last touch with them is less than stellar.
  • The customer gets a text message, or email, with a click to pay option. This is ideal because the customer is now in control of how and where they want to pay. Additional automated fraud controls like 3-D Secure Verified by Visa (VbyV) can be used. VbyV can mitigate risk, shifting fraud liability to the issuer, and sometimes also reduces the qualified interchange rate, depending on the card type.

If customers have multiple dealers to choose from, which will they go to? Millennial research shows they’ll switch for a better experience, and for them, that includes non-face-to-face interaction. Any dealer that wants to maximize customer satisfaction, and profits, must address the growing millennial demographic; they prefer to minimize personal interaction and use more digital technology as part of their purchasing experience. According to a Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System March 2016 report, purchasing an item on their phone (42%) was one of the top three common mobile payment activities among mobile payments users with smartphones.

Christine Speedy is an authorized reseller of CenPOS, creating efficiencies through payment innovation. The CenPOS EBPP solution is available both integrated to ERP and other software, as well as standalone via a web browser.