Credit Card Transaction Lifespan

You might wonder what happens once an online credit card transaction is initiated in your system. Wonder no longer!

Here's the process:

1. A customer enters their credit card information into ASAP and clicks the Submit button.
2. ASAP sends that data to the client's payment gateway. The payment gateway service checks with the credit card systems for:

  • cancelled cards
  • stolen cards
  • incorrect data entry (the customer entered the wrong billing address for example)
  • available funds

3. Some of the different responses that the payment gateway may send will update the transaction within ASAP. The transactions received are as followed:

  • FAILED - If the payment gateway receives a warning about any of the above, it will send ASAP a message that the transaction is declined.
  • PAID - This is notification the gateway sends back to ASAP that the transaction is approved. At that point the transaction will immediately be noted on the customer's credit card with a lock on those funds, even though transaction is not yet finalized. ASAP marks the customer's invoice as Paid.
  • PROCESSING - If ASAP does not receive a response in a timely manner, the transaction will be stuck. Here's a support article on why this occurs as well as different options for you depending on if the payment has cleared or not: "Processing" Payment

4*. At the end of the day (check with your payment gateway to find out exactly when this is--if you use ASAP's, this will happen at 3PM Pacific), your payment gateway routes all the days' transactions through a big processing system. This is called Batch Processing. This is the actual action that then sends the money through the channels and results in:

  • a customer credit card having a transaction on it
  • you seeing money arrive in your bank account.

Step 4* can sometimes take several days, but there is usually an amount on a customer's card called Pending. These are those transaction sitting and waiting for batch processing but not yet posted all the way through batch processing to the bank.

5. As a final note, please remember that the communication between ASAP and your payment gateway is a one time transaction. This means that after the first time ASAP and your payment gateway attempts to communicate with each other, it will not attempt to talk to the gateway again for this specific transaction. This means that whatever status is given after the initial attempt between the two will be how it is displayed in ASAP. ASAP will not automatically update any of the statuses after the first communication.

An example would be if a card is used (legitimately) to pay for a class in the morning, but the credit card is stolen and reported missing by the registrant later that same afternoon, before the batch settles. The credit card company will be aware that there was fraudulent activity on the credit card, but ASAP will have no way of knowing about this. In a situation like this, you should notify support to alert ASAP that a payment was processed and is marked as PAID in ASAP but did not clear the batch settlement, to have the invoice and transaction properly updated.

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