FAQs - Online Payment Processing

Answers to all your questions on online payment processing with Vantiv. From echecks to chargebacks to transaction types, we can help.

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

  1. Transaction Types
  2. Processing Data Elements
  3. Credit Card Responses
  4. eCheck
  5. Chargebacks & Retrievals
  6. International Payment Processing
  7. eCommerce Technical Support

Transaction Types

Q. What are the most common transaction types you support?

A.

  1. Authorization: Confirms the cardholder has submitted a valid payment method with their order and has sufficient funds to purchase the goods or services
  2. Deposit: Transfers funds from the cardholder to the merchant
  3. Sale (Conditional Deposit): Both authorizes funds availability and performs the deposit by means of a single transaction
  4. Authorization Reversal: Removes hold on any funds being held by an authorization
  5. Refund: Returns money to a cardholder, even if the original transaction occurred outside the Vantiv system
  6. Void: Cancels a transaction that occurred during the same business day; transaction may be a void Deposit, Credit, or Sale Transaction
  7. eCheck Sale: Captures funds from a customer paying via electronic check
  8. eCheck Credit: Refunds a previous eCheck Sale
  9. eCheck Void: Halts automatic redeposit attempts returned for Insufficient Funds or Uncollected Funds; cancels an eCheck Sale transaction, as long as the transaction has not settled

Q. Which card brand associations support $0 dollar authorization attempts?

A. Visa, MasterCard and Discover support $0 authorizations however American Express does NOT. If you send in a $0 authorization, American Express will convert the authorization to $1.00.

Q. What is an authorization reversal and what are the benefits of performing them in a timely manner?

A. An authorization reversal reverses an approved authorization and releases and monetary hold to a cardholder’s credit or debit card. It is important to reverse authorizations you do not plan on capturing so as not to affect a cardholder’s open to buy.

Also, by performing authorization reversals, you can avoid unnecessary assessment fees from the card brand associations. As of May 2016:

  • Visa will assess a $0.045 "Misuse of Auth Fee" for every unused authorization (partial or complete) that is not reversed within 72 hours
  • MasterCard will assess a $ 0.045 "Processing Integrity Fee" for every unused authorization (partial or complete) that is not reversed within 72 hours

Network fee assessments can be found in the Pass-through Section of the Vantiv iQ for eCommerce Fee Report

Q. What card brand associations support authorization reversals?

A. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, Diners Club, and JCB all support authorization reversals; however, American Express and PayPal only support reversals of the original authorization amounts and do not support partial authorization reversals.

Although the card associations listed above support reversals, this does not mean all issuing banks do. It is possible for banks to decline an authorization reversal. For example, International banks do not accept electronic authorization reversals. In this case, Vantiv recommended you contact the issuer by phone to request a manual reversal.

Q. What is an automatic authorization reversal and what are the benefits of utilizing this feature?

A. If you chose to perform non-zero authorizations for account verification and AVS, Vantiv offers the automatic authorization reversal service to help you avoid misuse of auth fees. To use this service we configure an agreed upon amount (e.g., $1.01) so that, when you submit an authorization for that amount and it is approved, we automatically reverse it. You do not need to take any action to reverse the authorization.

Q. What is a forced deposit?

 

A. A deposit that does is not link to a valid – or approved – authorization or a deposit that is submitted with an external authorization that does not exist or no longer valid.

Vantiv strongly recommends you avoid the use of Forced Deposits, as you may experience higher interchange fees, Visa zero floor limit fees, technical chargebacks, and MasterCard Progressive Handling fees

Q. Why is there no authorization process for a refund?

A. The acquiring network does not tie the refund to any specific transaction, so refunds can be issued at any point for any transaction.

Processing Data Elements

Q. Do I need to send the expiration date with all transaction types?

A. The expiration date is required when you submit a card-not-present transaction. Including the expiration date is recommended—though not required—when submitting a token transaction.

Q. What is a billing descriptor and what are the limitations?

A. The billing descriptor appears on the consumer’s card statement, allowing them to clearly identify the source of the charge or refund.. The descriptor has a maximum character length of 25 and valid characters include: letters, numbers, ampersand(&),comma(,), dash(-), period(.), or pound symbol(#).

For merchants who include a prefix with their descriptor, it must be 3, 7, or 12 characters in length.

Credit Card Responses

Q. What is Address Verification Service (AVS)?

A. The process of validating a cardholder’s given address against the issuer’s records to determine authenticity and deter unauthorized use. The response message includes a code that indicates the accuracy of the address match.

Q. Do I need to send the CVV?

A. You are not required to send the CVV code, but Vantiv recommends sending it for the initial transaction in a recurring stream or when sending a standalone transaction.

Q. What happens if I see declines on transactions when sending “000” for CVV?

A. If the decline response is "Generic Decline", "Do Not Honor” the cardholder should contact their credit card issuer for additional information on the decline message. If the same card is used multiple times, the issuer may be declining the transaction for suspected fraud.

Q. Why do I get an “Expired Card” response even though the card is not expired?

A. This may occur on prepaid or debit cards when a new card is issued close to the expiration date or when a card has been reported lost or stolen. In addition, prepaid cards may deactivate if they are not registered within a certain timeframe; however, the timeframe may vary depending on the issuer.

Q. What is Acquirer Reference Number (ARN) and what is its use?

A. Vantiv generates the Acquirer Reference Number prior to delivering to the networks any transaction involving the transfer of funds. Part of the 11-digit number is the payment identification number. Financial transactions include deposits, sales, and refunds.

The ARN can be supplied to a consumer bank to confirm a refund was applied to a consumer’s credit statement.

eCheck

Q. Why don’t eCheck transactions have an “authorization” like the credit card networks?

A. eChecks are processed through the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) Network, which does not support any method of confirming if a consumer has sufficient funds in their account or holding funds. Vantiv does support eCheck Verification, which check the account information against a database to check for a history of fraud or other bad behavior. We also support eCheck Pre-notification transactions that you can use to verify the account information is correct.

Q. What happens if an eCheck is rejected by the consumers’ bank?

A. The consumer’s bank may reject an eCheck debit or credit entry for a variety of reasons, such as: Insufficient Funds or Account Closed. This is referred to as a return. Per NACHA rules, receiving banks are supposed to send returns with 2 banking days of settlement; however, merchants often see returns later than this.

For this reason, Vantiv recommends waiting 7 days after settlement before issuing a refund or shipping physical goods.

Chargebacks & Retrievals

Q. What is a technical chargeback?

A. Technical chargebacks are initiated by the issuing bank on behalf of the cardholder without their knowledge. Possible reasons could be the lack of a valid authorization.

Q. What is a chargeback retrieval request?

A. Initiated by the issuing bank, a retrieval request is a request for additional information regarding a particular transaction. While there is no financial impact (i.e., money movement) associated with a retrieval request, if you do not respond to a retrieval request, it is highly likely it will become a chargeback.

Q. How do I know if I’ve won a chargeback?

A. For Visa and MasterCard, if a chargeback case has not escalated to pre-arbitration or arbitration within 90 days after Vantiv represents the case on your behalf, you can considered it won. Unfortunately, at this time there is no formal notification process from the card brand associations.

International Payment Processing

Q. If I only have a U.S.-based entity, can I still sell my goods and services in non-U.S. currencies?

A. Yes. Vantiv provides a local currency solution, which allows US-based merchants to offer more than 150 Visa/MasterCard purchase currencies with settlement in USD.

Q. What is the benefit to allowing customers purchase in their local currency?

A. Offering native purchase currencies leads to an enhanced shopper experience. People are more comfortable making purchases in their native currency and shoppers avoid having to pay foreign exchange rates on their card. Research has shown not offering native currency drives ~13% of all cart abandonment.

Q. Are there any special requirements needed to support our non-USD settlement solution?

A. Yes. Every local currency has some requirement as to legal presence. For instance, settling in Euro requires domicile in at least one of 36 European countries.

Q. Is AVS supported for international payment processing?

A. Yes. The card networks attempt to submit AVS data to international issuing banks, and the responses returned from the networks may indicate whether AVS was successful based on international information, or if the Issuer is not an AVS participant. Vantiv does not filter (fail) those transactions where the bank does not participate in AVS.

eCommerce Technical Support

Q. If I am experiencing connectivity or file communications issues, what information should I provide to your eCommerce Technical Support Team (eCommerceSupport@vantiv.com)?

  1. You should supply the following information:
  2. The originating IP address/addresses of the transactions.
  3. The Vantiv URL destination for the transactions.
  4. The exact error message being reported by your application.
  5. The date and time the issue started to occur.
  6. The historical date/timestamps and key identifying transaction details (e.g., merchant reference string) of all errors/transactions impacted.
  7. Include any known changes to your infrastructure/security/application environment.

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