Merchant Link SecurityCents

A blog that comments on the latest developments in the world of payments, payment data security and technology, PCI compliance, and more.

Posts Tagged ‘ payment transactions ’

Your customer purchased your product or service and paid for it with a credit card. You correctly entered the charge, authorized the payment and closed the transaction. Within a couple of days the funds will be deposited into your account. Or will it?

Like a ship disappearing mysteriously into the fog, from time to time transactions go missing. A merchant will call our support team wondering why they haven’t received deposits for transactions paid by credit card. In some cases, the missing transactions are simply too old to settle (15, 30, 60 days old or more), so they become a loss to the merchant.

There are a number of reasons why a settlement from a point-of-sale (POS) system can fail. The most common are:

  • An erroneous or corrupt transaction in the batch. On some POS systems this will not only stop the current batch from settling, but also prevent any subsequent batch from settling.
  • Errors in the programming of the credit card tenders or credit card drivers (usually following a new installation or change of service), and resulting in rejection of settlement attempts.
  • Incorrect configuration of the merchant account for settlement at the credit card processor in a way that allows credit card authorization but rejects settlement.

Fortunately, once the cause is pinpointed, settlement problems are usually easy to correct. It is important however, that you have the right practices in place to detect settlement issues as soon as possible.

  1. WATCH FOR SIGNALS:  Make sure you are taking advantage of any warnings or alerts your POS system has available. For example, some systems print a batch detail report after a successful settlement or a failed batch report if a settlement fails. If you do not know how your system reports batch settlement problems, contact the dealership or vendor help desk for your system.
  2. DESIGNATE A LOOKOUT:  Once you have a warning system in place, make sure that someone has responsibility for constantly checking it.
  3. SHORE UP THE FUNDS:  As a back up to the POS system warning, a person with access to your company’s bank accounts should monitor deposits to all accounts, making sure that all expected funds are received.

Awareness of the issues and careful monitoring of the settlement process can help you steer clear of potential hazards, leading to quick resolution and more money in your pocket.

Merchant Link is pleased to announce that it has renewed its contract through 2017 with IHOP®, America’s favorite breakfast place.

Since 2002, IHOP has relied on Merchant Link to route payment transactions from the point-of-sale (POS) to the processor. In 2006, IHOP was one of the first major brands to implement Merchant Link’s TransactionVault™ cloud-based tokenization solution to protect customer credit card data stored in their environment. TransactionVault removes sensitive cardholder data from the POS and stores it in a secure, hosted “vault” – increasing security while reducing PCI scope. Today, Merchant Link supports more than 1,100 IHOP locations nationwide.

“We selected Merchant Link after conducting an exhaustive search and evaluation process that ultimately revealed we had the most reliable, flexible, secure and scalable solution on the market today,” said Randy Bogart, Executive Director of Information Technology of IHOP. “The company’s comprehensive support services for our franchisees and their tight integration with MICROS POS systems further set them apart.”

“We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with IHOP to keep their customers’ payment data safe, and we are proud of our ability to support national restaurant brands,” said Laura Kirby-Meck, EVP of Sales & Marketing at Merchant Link. “We will continue to provide IHOP the services it has come to depend on and we look forward to meeting its requirements for years to come.”

IHOP’s future plans include the addition of another layer of security by implementing Merchant Link’s point-to-point encryption technology.


Celebrating 20 years

The New Year is a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. Nearly 20 years ago, I was one of three co-founders that started Merchant Link.

Since then, the payments industry has experienced incredible growth and change, from manual “knuckle busters” to the first electronic swipe devices, to online and mobile payments. Merchants became subject to many new regulations and security threats.

Above all, our customers value our ability to provide them with the flexibility, reliability and security needed in today’s changing and complex payments landscape. Check out the infographic below for insight on the state of our business, network operations and services.

Webcast #4 in our payments education series is up!

In this video, we take a look at merchant services, pricing, and what you can do to better manage your processing costs.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Webcast #3 in our payments education series is up!

In this video, we take a closer look at interchange and at the various ways you can keep costs as low as possible.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Last week, we introduced a unique educational series focused on the fundamentals of credit card processing.

Today, we bring you webcast #2!  “Understanding Transaction Fees” provides insight on the different types of transactions fees and how are they calculated and collected.

Check it out and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Here on the SecurityCents blog, we talk a lot about strategies to secure cardholder data, and what’s happening in the world of payments in general. As part of our ongoing commitment to empower merchants with tools and information to better manage their payments, we’re kicking off a webinar program today, starting with a series on the fundamentals of credit card processing.

This unique series will begin with four recorded webcasts, and will answer questions such as:

  • How do credit card transactions flow through the network and who are the players involved?
  • What are the different types of transaction fees and how are they calculated?
  • What can merchants do to reduce their processing costs?

Then, we’ll host a couple of live webinars April 4-5 where we’ll outline valuable best practices to help you run a more efficient and profitable business. Attendees will also have the opportunity to submit questions to be answered live by our panel of experts.

View our first webcast and sign up for the live webinar by clicking here or on the EDUCATION tab above. And let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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