May 2, 2012

Issuing Credits? Be Extra Careful

No one wants to make a mistake, but we also recognize that humans are, well, human (and machines are likewise imperfect) so sometimes it happens. Today, we want to point out a small mistake merchants make that can have disproportionately large consequences at batch settlement: mistyped card numbers.

The issue is simple: when issuing a credit to a customer’s card, the merchant manually enters the card number and accidentally mistypes a digit or two. If this were an authorization request, that error would be immediately apparent, because the card would come back declined. But, because it’s a credit, the transaction doesn’t process immediately; it actually waits until you settle your batch at the end of the day.

The trouble with having this error show up during batch settlement is that it can result in the entire batch being suspended. (We’re seeing this type of batch suspension happen more frequently of late, which is why we’re sharing this with you.)

Now, you may ask if Shift4 has anything in place to protect you from this. The answer is yes. DOLLARS ON THE NET® does run what’s called a Luhn test to confirm that the card number you enter meets the mathematical requirements to be a credit card number. However, just because it could be a valid card number does not mean that the card is in service or that it’s the right card number.

For this reason, you should always be extra careful when manually keying a transaction – especially when you’re entering a credit. It’s much better to take the extra few seconds to double-check yourself when you’re inputting the card number than to have to deal with suspended batches and possible downgrades later.

If you need help with issuing credits or resolving suspended batches, Shift4 Support is available 24/7 by calling 702.597.2480 and selecting option 2.