January 9, 2013

Phasing Out Traditional Offline Mode

We’re happy to report that, contrary to the Mayan Calendar, the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012. However, during this first quarter of 2013, the world of traditional offline mode in DOLLARS ON THE NET® will be ending. Over the next few months, we will be upgrading all users who are still using traditional offline mode to Enhanced Offline Mode, which has been used heavily for more than two years.
Enhanced Offline Mode provides additional functionality to support merchants when their Internet connection goes down and the Universal Transaction Gateway® (UTG®) cannot connect to a Shift4 data center.

Previously, when traditional offline mode engaged due to lost Internet connectivety, it returned a referral (required the clerk to call for a phone authorization) whenever an authorization or sale was requested. The clerk was then required to call in the request (potentially delaying the customers now waiting in a growing line) or ask for another form of payment. Once the clerk acquired a referral approval code and once connectivity had been restored, he/she could send an offline-authorization or offline-sale request to Shift4 to receive a TrueToken™.

With Enhanced Offline Mode, the process is much simpler. The UTG mimics online mode more closely by generating a TrueToken on all authorization and sale requests. Other function requests, such as voids or sales with referral, will continue to function as they have in traditional offline mode.

With Enhanced Offline Mode, there is also an additional option called Secure Offline Stand-InTM (SOS). Configured through the advanced features section of the UTG, SOS allows you to set a threshold – a maximum dollar value – below which you are comfortable issuing automatic “stand-in” authorizations without requesting voice authorizations. When connection to the Internet is lost, SOS delivers automatic authorizations for all transactions within your threshold, keeping your lines moving while customers (and front-line employees) remain totally unaware of any disruption in service. When the UTG is in Enhanced Offline Mode, it returns an approval on all authorization and sale requests that are below the limit and requests phone authorization on all authorization and sale requests that are above the limit.

The UTG stores these requests in an encrypted file that can only be decrypted by Shift4 in our PCI-compliant data centers and automatically uploads them as soon as connectivity is restored.

The transition to Enhanced Offline Mode will be transparent and no action is required from our merchant customers, but we wanted to make everyone aware of this important milestone. We hope these new capabilities prove helpful in your business.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 702.598.2480 (option 2).