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Credit Card Processing - FAQs

No question left unturned. Here, we address the most often asked questions about transactions, funding, chargebacks, errors, declines, account information changes, and a whole lot more.

No question left unturned. Here, we address the most often asked questions about transactions, funding, chargebacks, errors, declines, account information changes, and a whole lot more.

Click on one of the categories below to take you to FAQs in that section.

  1. PROCESSING TRANSACTIONS
  2. ERRORS & DECLINES
  3. FUNDING
  4. AUTHORIZATIONS & BATCHES
  5. CHARGEBACKS & RETRIEVALS
  6. TRANSACTION TYPES
  7. RATES & FEES
  8. PASSWORD & ACCOUNT CHANGES
  9. PRODUCT
  10. SECURITY
  11. TERMINALS
  12. CUSTOMER SUPPORT
  13. OMNISHIELD ASSURE FAQs

PROCESSING TRANSACTIONS

I’m unable to process transactions

  • Restart system
    • First, power down the computer
    • Second, power down your modem/router
    • Power on modem/router
    • Power on computer
  • Check modem/router
    • Is the modem/router displaying the appropriate lights? Refer to your modem/router user manual for specifics.
    • Are the connections to the router/modem solid?
    • Have you contacted your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to confirm your internet availability?
  • Navigate to any website you have never visited
    • Does the site load?
    • Are there error messages displayed when attempting to reach the site?
  • Check connections
    • Are all of the cords properly connected?
  • Call Vantiv Integrated Payments for further troubleshooting.

How do I process missing transactions from a batch that is already closed?

  • Call Vantiv Integrated Payments at 1-800-846-4472 for instructions on the process.

ERRORS & DECLINES

Common Error Messages (when processing transactions)

  • Timeout on response
    • There is a connection issue and the transaction is timing out prior to receiving an authorization.
    • Please refer to the above instructions regarding being unable to process transactions.
  • INVLD Merchant ID, Merchant ID Not Found
    • The information that is programmed into the POS is not matching what is programmed on Vantiv Integrated Payments’ side.
    • Please contact Vantiv Integrated Payments to confirm the correct configuration.
  • PIC UP
    • The specific card that is producing this error message has been flagged as lost or stolen.
    • Merchants should obtain a different form of payment to ensure being paid for goods or services provided.
  • Call Center
    • The card issuing bank for the specific card that is producing this error message is requiring a Voice Authorization.
    • Please follow the Voice Authorization instructions that were provided in your Welcome Packet.
    • You can also call Vantiv Integrated Payments to assist with this error.
  • INVLD BAL/STL
    • This error means that the batch total on the merchant side is not matching the batch total on the processor’s (Vantiv Integrated Payments) side.
  • Must Balance Now
    • The batch has met the maximum amount of days it is allowed to be open.
    • Attempt to close the batch. If you receive further error messages, please contact Vantiv Integrated Payments for additional troubleshooting.
  • Invalid Account – Check Digit
    • The card number is not valid or is incorrect.
    • Please check the card information. Attempt to enter again. If you continue to get an error, contact Vantiv Integrated Payments for further troubleshooting.

Common Decline Messages

Call for a voice authorization:

  • CALL AE—contact AMEX for a voice auth (800-528-2121)
  • CALL Discover—contact Discover for a voice auth (800-944-1111)
  • CALL ND—call for a voice auth for Visa or MasterCard (800-944-1111)
  • Call Center—call for a voice auth Visa/MasterCard/Discover (800-944-1111)
  • Code 10—call for a voice auth Visa/MasterCard/Discover (800-944-1111)

Get another form of payment:

  • PIC UP – Card has been reported lost or stolen
  • Decline – another form of payment required
  • AP Dupe—transaction is a duplicate transaction

Batch issues:

  • Must Balance Now – batch has to be settled
  • Inv Bal/Setl – Totals in POS do not match host totals

How do I add a tip to a transaction, finalize a transaction, correct a transaction voided in error or run a return?

  • Please contact your POS dealer for assistance.
  • If you need to finalize a transaction from a previously settled batch you can provide this information to Vantiv Integrated Payments in two ways:
    • Send an email to ics@mercurypay.com with the following information:
      • Last four digits of the credit card number
      • Date of the transaction
      • Amount of the transaction
      • Total Amount that needs to be finalized (including any tip)

Should I accept debit cards?

Debit cards are increasingly being used as customers’ preferred payment method. When goods or services are purchased with an ATM debit card, the funds are removed from the customer's checking account. In addition to the standard ATM cards, many banks also issue the Visa Check Card and/or MasterCard's Master Money Card – both of which can be used in either an online or offline debit arena.

What is the difference between online debit and offline debit?

The difference between these two debit choices is whether a personal identification number (PIN) is used at the point-of-sale terminal. When a PIN is used, the transaction becomes 'online' and funds are immediately withdrawn from the cardholder's available funds. When an offline debit transaction occurs, funds are not withdrawn until the transaction processes – usually two to four days after the sale.

What are commercial cards?

Commercial cards – corporate, business, purchasing – are issued to businesses as an alternative way of financing expenses such as supplies, travel, and entertainment. These cards also provide users with specific reporting advantages. By using a commercial card, cardholders get itemized records of all their purchases. This simplifies reimbursement procedures and helps track expenses. This specialized reporting is possible because specific data is captured at the point-of-sale terminal. MasterCard and Visa each provide issuers with the ability to issue commercial card products.

What is Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)?

EBT is the automation of cash or cash-like benefits through electronic authorization, data capture and settlement processes. This is accomplished with the use of plastic magnetic-striped cards at the point-of-sale terminal. The end result is the elimination of coupon benefits distribution. The electronic process results in increased security, thereby reducing fraud and benefit misuse.

FUNDING

What are Vantiv Integrated Payments’ funding timelines?

  • Standard funding timeline, including Holidays and Weekends
    • Vantiv Integrated Payments’ funding cutoff is 5 AM (EST). Batches closed before the 5 AM cutoff will fund in 2 business days.
      • If the batch from the previous business day is closed after 5 AM (EST) the following day, it will be delayed by another business day.
    • Federal Holidays will delay funding by one business day. (see below)
    • Some high-risk businesses may have different settlement options. Using Automated Clearing House (ACH), Vantiv Integrated Payments will remit funds due for MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and JCB transactions to a merchant’s business bank account.
  • Next Day Funding timelines and restrictions
    • In order to receive Next Day Funding you must be setup for the program with Vantiv Integrated Payments
    • Next Day Funding requires the merchant to close their batch by 6:50 PM (EST).
    • Please contact Vantiv Integrated Payments for more info on Next Day Funding
  • AMEX (American Express) funding
    • For AMEX Direct (ESA), AMEX handles the funding of all AMEX transactions within a batch. American Express will obtain the merchant's banking information and pay funds directly to his bank, the payment will be separate from the payment from Vantiv Integrated Payments.
    • For AMEX Opt-Blue, the AMEX transactions are deposited by Vantiv Integrated Payments. The funding will follow the same timeline as your Visa/MasterCard/Discover transactions.
    • Please contact Vantiv Integrated Payments for specifics on your business’ AMEX program.
  • Daily Discount
    • Merchants can have processing fees taken out on a per-batch basis. This results in the deposit not matching the batch amount because the fees are debited from the batch and the remaining amount is deposited.

How do Federal Reserve holidays impact funding?

  • Funding will be impacted by any Federal Reserve Bank Holidays. Your funding will be delayed by one business day.
    • https://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/holiday_schedule.html
  • For example, if the holiday is on a Monday, you will receive your funds from Thursday, Friday and Saturday on Tuesday rather than Monday.
  • Local banks may be open but no funds are moved because the Federal Reserve is closed.

AUTHORIZATIONS & BATCHES

What is an Authorization?

As the name implies, an authorization is a transaction you use to:

  • Help verify that the card is not counterfeit
  • Verify that the cardholder has sufficient credit for the purchase
  • Place a "hold" on the cardholder’s credit line for the amount of the transaction

An authorization is required in order to complete a Sale transaction.

What is an Authorization Completion?

The Authorization Completion is the act of closing or finalizing a transaction that has been authorized. By completing an authorization, you are ensuring that transaction will be included in your processing batch for the day.

What is a Batch? Do I need to process a deposit for every sale?

A Batch is a collection of transactions in any given time, typically for your days’ worth of transactions. A Batch Close is the action of submitting your authorized transactions for payment. While an authorization places a hold on a cardholder’s available balance to cover your payment, a batch completes the process of charging your cardholders by settling all Authorization Completions and remitting payment to your business. In most cases, Vantiv Integrated Payments handles the settlement of your batches automatically every day.

I’ve already obtained an authorization. Do I still need to process an Authorization Completion and Batch?

Yes. The funds will not be available to you unless you complete the transaction. In some cases, your system will process the completion the same time as the authorization, so no further action is needed once the authorization is obtained. Please consult your System Provider to find out more.

CHARGEBACKS & RETRIEVALS

What is the chargeback procedure?

Most often, the first stage of a chargeback procedure comes in the form of a ‘retrieval request.’ A retrieval request is a request from a card-issuing bank to see an original, photocopy or fax of a sales draft to prove the validity of the sale. If one of your customers disputes a card brand (VISA/MasterCard) sale, you will receive a letter of notification and be requested to send a copy of the signed copy of the draft or other information to your processor. If your records are complete and you have complied with credit card regulations, as well as follow best practices set by the card brands, then you are more likely able to successfully contest chargebacks. You will receive a chargeback notification and at this time your account will be debited the chargeback amount. (the notification does not specifically say the merchant has been debited)

For complete merchant chargeback guidelines, please refer to the individual card brand websites:

Am I liable for chargebacks?

Yes, if the customer has a valid dispute with the charge in question and you do not provide the necessary documentation and/or satisfactorily remedy the situation. If, however, the customer doesn’t have a valid dispute and you complied with processing regulations, you may not be liable. If the chargeback is found to have been in error, a merchant will be granted a reversal.

What is my responsibility?

You are required to locate the signed copy of the draft or other requested information and send a copy of it to your acquirer within the time allowed. Failure to do so will result in a chargeback due to non-receipt of requested item. Your Credit Card Acquirer may request copies up to two years following the date of sale.

What are some of the different types of chargebacks?

A sale can be charged back for more than 35 valid reasons, the four most common are:

  • no signature on a draft
  • failure to fulfill a request for a sales draft
  • no imprint on a manually keyed in sales draft (for card present merchant)
  • unauthorized sale

How can I avoid chargebacks?

For card-present transactions:

  • Verify that the full card number does not print on the receipt, only the last 4 digits of the card.
  • If you manually key in a card number, get a manual imprint of the card, a signature on the imprint and verify the signature matches the signature on the card.
  • Check the expiration date and do not accept expired cards.
  • Return policies must be printed on the sales receipt close to the signature line.
  • Do not accept a card that looks to have been altered.
  • Obtain authorization for the full amount of the sale.
  • If a card is declined, do not attempt to continue to get an authorization, and ask for another form of payment.
  • Please reference the card brand’s website for additional suggestions.

For card-not-present transactions:

  • Have warranty and return/refund policies on the checkout page of your website with a click through box for the cardholder to check acceptance of the policies prior to the completion of the sale/order. If it is a written policy it must be signed and faxed or emailed back to the merchant for their records as an acceptance from the cardholder they agree to the term of the sale, return/refund policies including any warranties.
  • Use security features such as AVS to verify the billing address and zip code, and CVV2 to verify that the consumer is in possession of the card.
  • Ship goods only to the verified cardholder’s billing address and obtain a signed proof of delivery from the shipper for delivered goods.
  • Include a customer service telephone number in the billing name that appears on customer’s bank statement.
  • Never charge a cardholder’s card until the goods have been shipped.

TRANSACTION TYPES

What is the difference between Qualified, Mid-qualified, and Non-qualified transactions?

Qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the "normal" operating guidelines as outlined below:

  • All Merchants - close batches daily
  • Retail (Terminal) Merchants - magnetically swiped & electronically authorized charges
  • Internet / MOTO Merchants - electronically authorize charges using AVS and including order numbers for Visa and MasterCard transactions.

Mid-qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the operating guidelines as outlined below:

  • Retail (Terminal) Merchants
    • Manually keyed orders using AVS & order number on Visa and MasterCard transactions.
  • Internet / MOTO Merchants
    • There is no mid-qual rate for Internet / MOTO merchants.

Non-qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the operating guidelines as outlined below:

  • All Merchants
    • not closing batches daily
    • not using AVS & providing order numbers on manually keyed or Internet transactions for Visa cards.
      • High- Risk Merchants (Visa Transactions Only) following card types:
        • : Business and Corporate cards
        • : MasterCard/Visa Business cards
        • : Procurement cards (Government)
        • : Visa Signature cards
        • : MasterCard World cards

RATES & FEES

When are my processing fees taken out of my account?

  • Your statement will be uploaded at the end of the day on the 5th of every month; you may not see it until the morning of the 6th depending on your time zone. Fees are ACH’ed on the 5th of the month; it will be up to your bank when you see the fees debited.
  • The details of your fees will appear on your merchant statement that you will receive, typically in the first full business week of the month.
  • If your fees fail to be debited because of non-sufficient funds please contact Customer Care at 800-846-4472.

Why am I paying mid-qualified and non-qualified rates?

  • Visa and MasterCard have different interchange requirements based on industry type and method of transmission. Transactions that do not meet these requirements are billed at mid-qualified or non-qualified rates. Review the Visa and MasterCard Interchange Qualification Criteria for more information.

What are mid-qualified and non-qualified rates?

  • A mid-qualified rate, also known as a partially qualified rate, is the percentage rate charged to the merchant when accepting a credit card that does not qualify for the lowest, or fully qualified, rate. For example, a credit card that is keyed in versus being swiped, or one that is used as a reward or business card, does not qualify for the lowest rate. The mid-qualified rate is usually 0.50 – 1.50 percent higher than a qualified rate. It applies to retail, restaurant, and supermarket businesses. It does not apply to Internet and telephone order businesses.
  • The non-qualified rate is the highest percentage rate a merchant will be charged, usually 0.70 – 2.50 percent higher than a qualified rate. All transactions that are not qualified or mid-qualified fall into this category. Examples include: the credit card is keyed in rather than being swiped and address verification is not performed; a special kind of credit card is used like a business card and all required fields are not entered; a merchant does not settle the daily batch within the allotted time frame.

How can I get the lowest interchange rate?

  • The lowest qualified interchange rates are associated with credit or debit cards not attached to rewards programs or business accounts are present and swiped, and the merchant sales are settled daily. If anything differs from this, the card will qualify at a higher interchange rate.

Can I surcharge on transactions?

  • Surcharging credit card transactions is not supported by Vantiv Integrated Payments. A merchant may, however, offer discounts for cash transactions provided it is clearly disclosed to cardholders as a cash discount and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price available for all other means of payment.

PASSWORD & ACCOUNT CHANGES

How do I reset my MercuryView password?

  • Click on the ‘Forgot Password’ link on the login page for MercuryView. You will be prompted to answer your security questions and then will be sent an email with a link to reset your password.
  • Be sure to check your junk mail folder for the email.

For the following questions, please make a web request though the MercuryView reporting portal. We will respond within two business days.

  • How do I update my account’s Legal Entity/Tax ID?
  • How do I update my phone/fax number or physical/mailing or email address?
  • How do I add an Authorized Signer to my account?
  • How do I process PIN Debit cards?
  • How do I process FSA cards?
  • How do I provide Vantiv a new/updated AMEX Direct SE#?

How do I update my banking account information for deposits and fees?

  • Make a web request though the MercuryView reporting portal
  • An authorization form and instructions will be emailed to the Owner of the account within two business days.
  • The form will need to be signed by the Owner and returned with a voided check or letter from your banker.
  • Please note: If the Owner, Tax ID or Legal Identity has change, please contact at the 800 for this update.

How do I add EBT processing?

How do I update the banking information for my AMEX Direct deposits?

  • Contact AMEX directly at 800-528-5200

How do I register with SIGIS (FSA Card Acceptance)?

  • Please contact your POS provider directly. Let them know you would like to be SIGIS TPS (Third Party Servicer) Certified with Vantiv as the Acquirer. They will assist you in becoming a SIGIS member and TPS SIGIS certification.
  • Once you hear back from SIGIS, tell us your new number

PRODUCT

How do I add American Express?

  • If you do not have an existing AMEX “SE” account number, please call us at 800-846-4472.
  • If you have a new or an existing AMEX “SE” number to provide to Vantiv, please supply your 10 digit number though a web request via the MercuryView reporting portal.

What is a stored value program?

  • A stored value program allows you to offer your customers a proprietary card pre-loaded with value for future purchases. Although there are many different applications for stored value cards (Gift Card, Merchandise Return, Pre-pay), they all share some common components:
  • Magnetic Stripe Cards – The merchant gives a consumer an electronic stored value card in exchange for some kind of pre-payment. Typically, the card includes a magnetic stripe, the merchant's name or logo and an account number.
  • Transaction Processing – The merchant can process stored value transactions from the point-of-sale terminal. These transactions are delivered to Vantiv Integrated Payments' authorization system for processing in real-time and account balances are maintained for all cards.
  • Merchant Reporting – The merchant will receive reporting that provides information about the transactions processed during a period of time and the outstanding balances.

How do I do a bulk upload to my gift cards?

  • Send an email to TechSupport@Vantiv.com with your merchant ID number, card numbers and related amounts to process.
  • An agent will process the request within 24-48 hours and provide a confirmation email to you once complete.

How do I start accepting EMV payments?

  • Equipment used for EMV varies based on your POS. Please call us at 800-846-4472to discuss your options.
  • Link to ‘Contact us’ form

How do I start accepting mobile payments?

  • Most EMV chip card devices support mobile payments.
  • Equipment used for mobile payments varies based on your POS.
  • Please call your POS dealer to discuss your options.

SECURITY

What do I do if I suspect I have a breach?

How can I recognize suspicious customer behavior?

  • Be alert for the customer who:
    • Makes indiscriminate purchases without regard to size, style, color, or price
    • Makes purchases, leaves the establishment, and returns to make additional purchases
    • Hurries you to complete the sale at closing time
    • Refuses free delivery for large items

What else can we do to protect our business against fraud?

  • Always verify that the signature belongs to the presenter
  • Do not accept any cards that have not been signed

What should I do if I am suspicious about a card or the cardholder?

  • Call the voice authorization center and request a 'Code 10' authorization.
  • By saying 'I have a Code 10 authorization,' you put the center on alert without letting the customer know you are suspicious.
  • The center will give you further instructions.

What do I do if the Internet goes down and I cannot process?

  • Call for a voice authorization and use an imprinter any time a transaction is manually entered into your point of sale during an internet outage to minimize risk.
  • Check the draft to ensure that you have captured a clear impression of the embossed card number.
  • Complete the draft with the date, description of merchandise/service, sales tax, total dollar amount and authorization number, and get a signature.

What is PCI DSS?

  • PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and is a set of security standards that were created by the major credit card companies (American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa International) to help protect their customers from identity theft and security breaches. There are 12 requirements that have been put into place to help assist a merchant in assuring their customers credit card data and sensitive information is protected from malicious attacks.
  • Click here to learn more about PCI DSS.

TERMINALS

How do I unlock my keyboard on the terminal?

  • Press #8 key from the sales screen
  • Enter 998877 (manager PW)
  • You will be prompted to lock the keyboard > select NO

How do I make date and time adjustments?

  • Press enter > select setup > password 998877 > scroll down to date and time (more key scrolls down)
  • First purple button on left.

How do I change the language?

  • From credit app > press number 7 > option to select English, Spanish or French

Overnight update fail receive connection to host failed or something similar?

  • Press the cancel key to get back to the main screen

What do I do when the screen says power fail recovery?

  • Press green enter key > select yes to clear message
  • Typically this happens when there is a power outage or manually removed the terminal

How do I get to credit app when the screen says commserver/vantiv? 

 

  • Press F3 for vantiv or credit app

What does it mean when the terminal displays “no line”?

  • Either failing to process over internet and/or phone line is not working.
  • Or you need to plug the phone line into the terminal

What is a cash/interim receipt?

  • This happens because the person handling the terminal pressed number 9
  • This does not affect batch totals

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

What information do I need when I call in to the Customer Support team?

  • Have your bank provide the Originator ID (OID) of any debit or deposit you have questions about before reaching out to us. This will help us identify if it was sent by Vantiv Integrated Payments or another√entity.

What are Vantiv Integrated Payments hours of operation?

  • Customer support:  24 x 7
  • Retention and sales:  M-F, 8am-5pm MST

When do I need to call my reseller instead of calling Vantiv Integrated Payments?

  • Questions about connecting your hardware
  • Questions about configuring your MID
  • How to use your POS (voids, returns, batching out, etc.)
  • Add a tip to a transaction
  • Finalize a transaction
  • Correct a transaction voided in error
  • Run a return
  • Receipt printing setup and troubleshooting
  • POS software updates
  • Other POS specific questions

How long will it take for someone to get back to me?

  • Our Customer Support team will respond back to you with a referral number within 48 hours.

How can I get in touch with someone at Vantiv Integrated Payments?

  • Chat with us – MercuryView portal
  • Submit web request – MercuryView portal
  • Email us – ics@mercurypay.com
  • Call us – 800-846-4472

Where do I find product manuals and other product training materials?

  • Our Resource Center has product training and how-to information, including manuals, tools, videos, and other important information to help you process payments.
  • Link to the Resources section

Where do I find information about improving my payment processing security?

  • In today’s payment environment, there are four threats to your business. Please go to our security page to understand how you can help secure your payment processing environment.
  • Link to the Security product section

 

Let’s get started

Let’s get you set-up and started. Everything from the basics to getting you processing to the road of solutions beyond.

FAQs

No question left unturned. Here are the most frequently asked questions about transactions, funding, chargebacks, errors, declines, account information changes, and a whole lot more.

Documentation

Here you’ll find quick reference guides, maintenance instructions and other technical documentation for your processing, security, compliance and stored value products.

Education/Training

Training videos, webinars, tools and case studies in this section will help you better secure your payment processing and build your business.

Built for success.