Hotel credit card authorization form 2017 change

Hotel and lodging industry must update best practices due to 2016 and 2017 changes in Visa and MasterCard rules. Cardholder authentication and multiple authorization indicators are two key components of change. Hotels that comply will maximize profits and security. Noncompliance will result in higher credit card acceptance fees due to penalties, increased declines, reduced profits, and new chargeback risk.hotel credit card authorization formFor those still using paper credit card authorization forms, few are in compliance with Visa Core Rules 5.4.2.5 Prohibition against Requiring Cardholder or Account Data – US Region.

“A US Merchant or its agent must not: Request the Card Verification Value 2 data on any paper Order Form.”

Authorization validity is front and center to the 2017 rules changes. Merchants used to get and authorization, and settle it later at checkout. Now merchants must send the correct transaction types and link them all together with a unique identifier:

  1. The ESTIMATE (Visa) or UNDEFINED (MasterCard) indicator is sent when the final settlement amount is unknown. The customer must be informed that it is an estimate as well.
  2. INCREMENTAL authorization is obtained when the original authorization expires or to increase the amount on hold.
  3. Final Authorization says this is the final transaction.

TIP: Merchants need 3-D Secure (Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode), a global cardholder authentication standard for card absent transactions, to maximize profits and compliance for card not present transactions, which is only available with customer initiated transactions: hosted pay page, digital payment request, online booking. Paper forms don’t create a digital record tied to the credit card, and cardholder authentication is not possible, as defined by the card brands. It’s also not possible to comply with the rule by key entering data into any desktop terminal.

The unique transaction transaction identifier can be a point of breakdown in the process. For example, the events manager obtains a paper credit card authorization form. The first charge is a deposit; the second charge is at the end of the event; a third charge occurs after assessing damages to a room. In each case, the amount is key entered into the payment processing terminal. Since there is no transaction identifier tying them all together, the authorizations are invalid and the ISSUER is within their rights to chargeback for invalid authorization, example Visa reason code 72.

There are so many nuances to the rules, and changes needed in the payments ecosystem, hotels should not assume existing partners have completed the required updates to comply. Technology that can automatically manage the authorization and settlement process- not the old way, but with all the new rules changes- requires a sophisticated payment gateway. Like EMV, there will be vendors that struggle to adapt.

For compliant solutions that can be used standalone or integrated, improving your customer experience, contact Christine Speedy, 954-942-0483.

Reference materials:

  • MasterCard® Pre & Final Authorization Mandate by CyberSource, December 2016.
  • Visa Core Rules October 2016.
  • MasterCard Revises Standards for Processing Authorizations and Preauthorizations by Vantiv December 2016.
  • MasterCard Transaction Processing Rules, November 2016.

See merchant bulletins – downloads for links to many resources.

Visa Partial Authorization Service

Visa merchant library update on December 13, 2016. Visa provides a Partial Authorization service that provides an alternative to declining a transaction when the card’s available balance is not sufficient to approve a transaction in full. This flyer provides information about the benefits realized, how to use the service, and answers to frequently asked questions.

PDF 326 KB Visa Partial Authorization Service – Improve the Customer Experience and Increase Sales

“Partial authorization improves the customer experience by preventing embarrassment from a decline at the point of sale and enabling a seamless checkout with split tender transaction using multiple payment methods.” Christine Speedy

To accept partial authorizations for your business, a few items are needed:

  • Technology that supports it. Payment gateways certify partial authorization for each acquirer. Not all gateways certify.  The receipt must also show each payment amount.
  • The merchant must enable it. For example, this could be a checkbox in the ERP or shopping cart software payments module, or it might be turned on at the gateway administration level. It’s possible a gateway is certified, but the related software using the gateway does not support it.

If partial authorization is not supported, and there’s a decline due to insufficient funds, there’s still an open authorization for the funds that were in the account. An authorization reversal should be completed to remove hold on any cardholder funds. If you don’t want screaming customers, this is a must! Intelligent technology can automate this process.

Compliance with credit card processing rules can be extremely complicated. Relying upon employee training is futile. To improve your customer experience and automate rules compliance, contact Christine today at 954-942-0483.

 

What is Auth Code 51, declined?

A credit card processing response of Auth Code 51, is a decline for insufficient funds, the credit limit has been exceeded. What happens when the customer says, “there’s nothing wrong my Visa card, put it through again”? If put through again without a voice authorization, the merchant is at risk for chargeback of funds for invalid authorization.

Visa Product and Service Rules, 8.4.1.3 Original Credit Transactions – Prohibition against Clearing a Declined Transaction

An Originating Member must not send an Original Credit Clearing Transaction if it received a Decline Response to the corresponding Authorization Request.

Further information at page PSR-564, 11.1.16 Chargeback Reason Code 71 – Declined Authorization. NEW. Effective for Transactions completed on or after 15 April 2016,
A Transaction for which Authorization was obtained after a Decline Response
was received for the same purchase. This does not include an Authorization
Request that received a Pickup Response 04, 07, 41, or 43 or was submitted
more than 12 hours after the submission of the first Authorization Request.

This period is known as the black hole or dark period. For the first 12 hours after a decline, merchants should not attempt to process the same retail transaction. The reality is a consumer could simply walk away and go back to another cashier and try again. Some cloud based payment gateways will enable merchants to choose to prohibit multiple attempts in the black hole period.

Disclaimer: The rules of card acceptance are very complex. Merchants should read the manual for complete details regarding card acceptance for your business type.

Distributor EMV Credit Card Terminals – Profit busters, profit boosters

Distributors have special needs for retail credit card processing to maximize profits and mitigate risk. Here we identify credit card terminals that are certain fall short on delivering in an EMV environment. The two most critical retail needs are requiring customers to comply with the highest security supported, and supporting level III processing. Additionally, P2PE, encrypting at the terminal head, is important for a security and compliance.

Only cloud payment solutions have the potential to meet the primary distributor retail processing needs.  This precludes all First Data terminals, one of the most popular brands distributed, and similar devices. DISCLAIMER: comments are specifically regarding business to business needs, not all retail industry needs, and are not in any way intended to imply anything negative about the terminals.

The terminals below DO NOT meet the two most critical distributor needs to maximize profits.

verifone vx520 emv terminal

Verifone vx520

Clover Mini by First Data

Clover Mini by First Data

First Data FD35 EMV pin pad terminal

First Data FD35 EMV PinPad, attaches to a variety of FD terminals.

Ingenico iCT250 emv capable countertop terminal.

Ingenico iCT250 emv capable countertop terminal.

magtek mini card swiper

Magtek mini card swiper.

The terminals below have the POTENTIAL meet the two most critical distributor needs to maximize profits. Special certifications and payment gateway logic is required.

ingenico isc250 signature capture terminal

Ingenico isc250 EMV

 

verifone MX915 EMV terminal

Verifone MX915 EMV chip terminal

Fraud liability review for MasterCard, American Express, and Discover (credit and debit)

  • If the card is chip & sign, and the terminal is EMV only, the card issuer is liable
  • If the card is chip & pin, and the terminal is EMV without pin, or pin debit without EMV, the merchant is liable
  • If the card is chip & pin, and the terminal is EMV with pin, the issuer is liable
  • If the terminal supports EMV & pin, but the customer uses chip & sign, the merchant is liable. Acquirers generally support chip and pin bypass to chip and signature. Merchants should only use solutions that require the highest security on every transaction, including prohibiting customer bypass.
  • If the terminal supports EMV & pin, but the customer does chip & sign, the merchant is liable.

Merchants should only use solutions that require the highest security on every transaction, including prohibiting customer bypass.

If you want to enhance your customer experience, make a change that also maximizes profits too.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS global sales and integrated solutions reseller, 954-942-0483. 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 merchant banking relationships. Keep your processor, upgrade your technology! Quick and easy to implement with no long term contract.

Why should B2B CFO’s, business consultants and accountants partner with a B2B payments consultant?

Financial consultants from CPA’s to business advisors can increase profits by partnering with outside experts. A business to business payments consultant will help financial consultants differentiate services offered to win more business and increase retention. Get clients paid faster, cheaper, and more securely, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty and refer you more business.

REAL RESULTS FROM COMPANIES USING MY TECHNOLOGY

  • Reduced DSO from 45 days to 15 days
  • Reduced merchant fees 34%- with the same merchant account
  • Exposed long-term internal fraud by trusted employee at a $2B+ company
  • Reduced internal accounting staff by 20%
  • Reduced cashier staff by 30%
  • Improved customer experience, directly increasing revenue per customer, and manufacturer bonus rebates

My core expertise is cloud-based financial transaction technology critical to staying current with regulatory and compliance changes, and the resulting impact on risk management, cash flow, and EBITDA. Examples of payment acceptance types can include credit card processing, check processing, ACH, wire, and others.

Why Christine Speedy? The industry is loaded with people selling substandard payment acceptance solutions, particularly B2B merchant services because they don’t know any better or they put themselves first. For example,

  • Web developers tell you to use either authorize.net or Payflow Pro payment gateway because they’re ‘reliable’ and they’ve had good results. Yes, they’re reliable, but so are others that provide far better customer and merchant experiences, while also maximizing profits.
  • US banks don’t have retail solutions enabling B2B merchants to qualify for the lowest interchange rate possible for purchasing, business, and corporate cards so they sell substandard alternatives. For example, building supply and distribution companies that cater to businesses pay millions in extra fees because of inadequate technology.
  • Industry associations offer member benefits for services in which they profit share; these ‘exclusive trusted partners’ are kept at all costs, even if it’s not the best service for their members.
  • Merchant salespeople tell you it’s Ok to store credit card authorization forms in a locked file drawer. No, it’s not. It’s never ok to store sensitive cardholder data in any format, but they don’t have a solution to fix your reason for storing it.

You need a trusted, confidential resource.

WHAT I DO: Analyze, recommend, sell new or modify existing solutions

Part 1: What is the revenue picture?

  1. Types and costs of payments accepted
  2. How and where are payments accepted? Who touches? Credit, collections, and treasury management (risk, currency) reviewed.
  3. Software and hardware
  4. Security and PCI Compliance at a glance- I can typically uncover problems in 100% of businesses within 5-10 minutes of probing.

Part 2: What are merchant business priorities in next 3-6-12 months?

These do not have to be related to part 1, but are critical to understanding business.

Part 3: Action items

Based on account review and priorities, what are critical and non-critical action items? How will these impact efficiency, security, profits, customer experience? What vendor, hardware, software changes are recommended?

MERCHANT SERVICES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW

US EMV chip card implementation is impacting every company that accepts credit cards, retail and card not present. This is the biggest change since Durbin (debit), and again, there’s loads of misinformation and poor recommendations being made.

TARGET MARKETS

Minimum $5M-100 annual revenue, sweet spot; Clients include $1M to $2B. Manufacturer, distribution, technology, dealer, anything B2B.

NO THANK YOU – No supermarkets, restaurants, education, fuel or travel agencies

FREE TEST – While credit card processing may be a small portion of cash flow in target markets, it’s also a pain point I can typically help with immediately. Send 2 consecutive merchant statements for any B2B company you’re satisfied is as profitable as possible. If you like my report, we can go deeper into full analysis.