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.


Partial Approvals, Partial Authorizations and Authorization Reversals

Now 2013, some merchants are experiencing issues related to the revised MasterCard and Discover 2010 Prepaid and Debit Card Requirements, particularly partial auth reversals. One reason is that some transactions received a partial approval. A partial approval occurs when a Gift Card is used (Visa/MC/AMEX prepaid cards) that have a lower balance that the requested authorization amount;  the processor approves the transaction for the amount that is left on the card. The merchant then must collect the balance with an alternative payment source such as cash or another card.

The 3 critical points of the rules change (from MasterCard):

  • Partial Approvals—Merchants can systemically conduct split-tender purchases by allowing debit card issuers (including prepaid) to systemically approve a portion of the original transaction amount in the authorization request when the transaction amount exceeds the funds available on the card. The merchant can then systemically initiate split-tender processing and obtain the remainder of the purchase amount in another form of payment.
  • Balance Response—Prepaid issuers can transmit account balance information in an authorization response, cardholders will attempt fewer purchases that exceed their available balances, leading to fewer declines at the POS.
  • Authorization Reversal—Authorization reversals will free up debit cardholders’ open to buy amounts by reducing issuer holds on available balances when transactions were not completed, therefore reducing the declines at the POS and the amount of cardholder complaints that are unpleasant for all parties involved.

At the time the rules were created, technology within various points of the payment processing ecosystem could not support the new requirement. Payment gateway and processor issues have largely been resolved at this point, but partial authorizations may still be troublesome in certain environments. For example, an ecommerce site or POS software solution may not have the logic to accept an alternate payment source. If you have an issue, the simplest immediate solution is to contact your credit cart processor and ask them to turn off partial authorizations on your merchant account.  That’s the quick fix, however, if the rules apply to your business, you may need to update your payment technology to comply. Refer to page 299 in the MasterCard Rules, updated December 2012, for more information on Full and Partial Approvals and Account Balance Responses.

About Christine Speedy, blog author. Christine is an authorized reseller for CenPOS, a cloud payment processing suite of solutions that creates numerous efficiencies for merchants. The CenPOS point of sale, mobile app, and other solutions support partial authorizations and authorization reversals.  Global Sales: Christine Speedy (954) 942-0483.

CenPOS Network New Industry Certifications: T Tech Transactions Technologies and First Data Merchant Services

CenPOS, a fast-growing digital payment processing technology provider, has received certified status with T Tech, First Data Merchant Services and Vantiv. These industry certifications allow CenPOS to provide a robust array of payment solutions the company offers its clients.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) January 02, 2012

CenPOS, a fast-growing digital payment processing technology provider, has recently received certified status with T Tech and First Data Merchant Services; CenPOS recently received certification from Vantiv. These latest industry certifications place CenPOS in the technological forefront of the ever-changing payment process ecosystem and provide a robust array of payment solutions the company offers its clients.

T Tech Certification
T TECH offers a full suite of electronic check processing, check guarantee and ACH services allowing clients to streamline their processes and maximize their resources. As a result of the T TECH certification, CenPOS that will now be able to support both Check 21 and ACH transactions.

First Data Merchant Services Certification
First Data Merchant Services (FDMS) Certification to allows CenPOS the ability to support additional transactional sets. CenPOS is now able, through this certification to FDMS’ Nashville platform, to complete partial authorizations on prepaid cards, full authorization reversals on both debit and credit, and complete debit returns.

In April 2010, the Card Association mandated that acquirers must process partial authorizations and real- time reversals. Partial authorizations allow consumers with prepaid cards to zero out the balance on their cards. Real-time reversals require that merchants close out any pending authorization within a specific amount of time depending how the transaction was conducted.

About CenPOS
“Creating efficiencies through payment innovation”

Founded in 2009, Miami-based CenPOS is a payment technology provider. CenPOS is committed to providing its customers and partners with innovative solutions for today’s rapidly evolving consumer payment choices.

CenPOS is an intelligent payment-processing network that streamlines the payment experience for businesses and consumers by using state-of-the-art technology to replace inefficient, outdated payment systems. The network reflects the core values that drive the experienced and innovative CenPOS team: Simplicity, Scalability, Security and a holistic approach to payment processing strategies.

CenPOS provides solutions to a range of organizations including but not limited to retail, card not present merchants, automotive dealers, professional services and academic institutions; special programs are also available for non-profits. Call us: (305) 630-7960, or toll free: (877) 630-7960.


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  Call 954-942-0483 to reach Christine Speedy, CenPOS Global Sales

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