How to Protect Your Business When Taking Telephone Credit Card Transactions

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

When Alexander Graham Bell obtained his official telephone patent in 1876, there likely wasn’t a single person around who envisioned the communication device as an instrument of billions of dollars of commerce transactions.

Yet, here we are, and that telephone has become a valuable resource for business owners in processing transactions when face-to-face dealings are not an option.

Alas, there is a dark side to this convenience: fraud.

According to an August 2015 article by The Nilson Report, total credit card losses due to fraud totaled more than $16 billion worldwide, and a good chunk of that is a result of mail order and telephone order deception. Fraudsters are now migrating more toward these types of transactions thanks to the roll-out of EMV technology (also known as chip-enabled credit and debit cards).

Fortunately, there are ways to protect business owners from such chicanery. The two most important methods are using an Address Verification System (AVS) and a CVC Match.

While inputting a customer’s credit card information into iCheckGateway.com’s Online Terminal, business owners can request their address as well as the CVC code on the back of most credit cards (American Express cards print the four-digit CVC code on the front).

The beauty of an AVS system is that it will return a response code letting the merchant know if the address is valid or if there are discrepancies.

Once the payment is processed, these codes are part of the transaction details in iCheckGateway.com. The transaction will still process regardless of the code results; however, the response codes provided can inform the merchant of any discrepancies and allow the merchant to determine if they wish to proceed with the transaction. The merchant would have the opportunity to void the transaction before the transaction batches. Keep in mind, there are several reasons which could cause the AVS to fail for a valid transaction, such as the customer has recently moved and the AVS system has not been updated to reflect the new address.

Here is a list of AVS response codes merchants may see once the transaction goes through:

A = Address (Street) matches, Zip code does not

B = Street address matches, Postal code in wrong format (international issuer)

C = Street address and postal code in wrong formats

D = Street address and postal code match (international issuer)

E = AVS Error

F = Address does compare and 5-digit ZIP code does compare (UK only)

G = Card issued by a non-US issuer that does not participate in the AVS System

I = Address information not verified by international issuer

M = Street Address and Postal code match (international issuer)

N = No Match on Address (Street) or Zip

P = Postal codes match, Street address not verified due to incompatible formats

R = Retry, System unavailable or Timed out

S = Service not supported by Issuer

U = Address information is unavailable (domestic issuer)

W = 9-digit Zip matches, Address (Street) does not

X = Exact AVS Match

Y = Address (Street) and 5-digit Zip match

Z = 5-digit Zip matches, Address (Street) does not

Verifying credit card using the CVC method gives the merchant added assurance that if a customer can provide the code (also known as CSC, CVD, CVVC, CVC2, V-CODE, or CCV), there is a higher chance that the person has the card in hand.

Once processed, look for these responses in the Online Terminal:

M = CVV2 Match

N = CVV2 No Match

P = Not Processed

S =  Issuer indicates that CVV2 data should be present on the card, but the merchant has indicated that the CVV2 data is not present on the card

U = Issuer has not certified for CVV2 or Issuer has not provided Visa with the CVV2 encryption Keys

Elavon, one of iCheckGateway.com’s credit card processors, has offered several tips to help merchants protect themselves against criminals. Namely, watch out for customers who make purchases without regard for quantity, prices and other key aspects; uses a shipping address that’s different than the address on file for the credit card; or uses a card issued in the United States, yet requests that the merchandise be shipped to locations outside the country. These are but a few red flags to look for when processing transactions.

Armed with the AVS and CVC verification methods, a vigilant eye, and just plain common sense, a merchant can protect itself from the growing, ugly specter of fraud.

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Proper Authorization: CCD Transactions

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

Over the past few months, we have gone over the different ways businesses can conduct proper transactions across the ACH network through iCheckGateway.com: PPD Transactions (Prearranged Payment and Deposit Entries), TEL Entries (Telephone-Initiated Entries), and WEB Entries (Internet Initiated/Mobile Entries).

While these transactions typically occur between a business account and a consumer account, this final post to wrap up the series will cover how to properly obtain authorization for business-to-business credit or debit transactions, or CCD transactions (Cash Concentration or Disbursement).

The first and most important step before conducting a transaction with another business is to obtain written permission from that business before crediting or debiting its bank account.

That authorization can be obtained in a written document or electronically as long as it contains the business name, bank account information, consent to debit or credit the account, contact information, a statement that the bank account is enabled for ACH, and acceptance of the National Automated Clearing House Association’s operating rules.

Note that this agreement can also be included as part of an overall contract between the businesses, or as a separate document regardless if it’s a recurring transaction or one-time deal. The overriding agreement should indicate the method of obtaining authorization for individual transactions. Methods for authorization include writing, calling, faxing, or emailing.

To be in compliance with NACHA Rules, businesses are required to keep all authorizations for at least two years. This also further protects merchants in case a transaction is disputed.

So, exactly what should a CCD authorization look like? Here are some recommendations:

For all types of CCD Entries

Below signature: I certify that I am an authorized representative of the Company indicated above and that I have the authority to enter into this Agreement on the Company’s behalf. 

Company understands that this authorization will remain in effect until it is canceled in writing, and agrees to notify Company Name in writing at least 15 days in advance of any changes in its account information or termination of this authorization. Company Name understands that because these are electronic transactions, these funds may be withdrawn from its account as soon as the date an individual transaction is authorized, and that it will have limited time to report and dispute errors.

In the case of an ACH Transaction being rejected for Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Company understand that Company Name may at its discretion attempt to process the charge again within 30 days, and agrees to an additional $ XX amount charge for each attempt returned NSF which will be initiated as a separate transaction from the authorized payment. Company Name has certified that the above business bank account is enabled for ACH transactions, and agrees to reimburse Merchant Name for all penalties and fees incurred as a result of Company Name’s bank rejecting ACH debits or credits as a result of the account not being properly configured for ACH transactions. Company Name acknowledges that the origination of ACH transactions to its account must comply with the provisions of U.S. law.

For overriding agreements that will contain CCD authorization

Above form: This agreement governs ACH transactions initiated by authorize Merchant Name to credit or charge the authorize Company Name indicated below.

Both parties agree to be bound by NACHA Operating Rules as they pertain to all ACH transactions initiated by authorize Merchant Name that credit or debit the company bank account listed below, and acknowledge that the origination of ACH transactions to the listed account must comply with provisions of U.S. law.

This agreement provides authorization for individual or recurring CCD transactions to be initiated by Merchant Name when individually authorized using the methods designated below. This agreement will remain in effect until Company Name cancels it in writing.

Both parties agree that this agreement, in conjunction with any of the designated methods constitutes authorization to debit Company Name’s business bank account, and Company Name agrees not to dispute any debits with its bank provided the transaction(s) correspond to the terms indicated in this agreement.

For one-time payment agreements

Above form: Sign and complete this form to authorize Merchant Name to make a one-time ACH debit to your business bank account. By signing this form, you give us permission to debit your account for the amount indicated on or after the indicated date. This is permission for a single transaction only and does not provide authorization for any additional unrelated debits or credits to your account.

Agreement: Company Name authorizes Merchant Name to charge its business bank account indicated below for $ XX amount on or after date.

For a recurring payment

Agreement: Company Name authorizes Merchant Name to charge its business bank account indicated below for $XX amount on the day or date of each frequency.

For a variable recurring payment

Agreement: Company Name authorizes Merchant Name to debit the bank account indicated below on the day or date of each frequency. Company Name understands that it will only receive advanced notice of the charge if it exceeds $XX amount.

For a set payment schedule

Agreement: Company Name authorizes Merchant Name to charge the account indicated below to discharge the above debt using installment payments in the amount and schedule indicated.

This wraps up iCheckGateway.com‘s series on how to properly obtain authorizations for various types of ACH transactions. For a refresher on the three other types of authorization requirements, click here.

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TLS 1.2 Compliance

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

By now iCheckGateway.com‘s customers have received their billing statements along with a notice that, as of July 1, 2017, we are no longer supporting TLS 1.0 or 1.1 over HTTPS and that any older browsers or API clients that do not support TLS 1.2 will no longer work.

So, is this cause for panic? Certainly not. What this actually means is higher security standards for clients and customers when initiating and processing credit card transactions over the internet, thereby engendering a solid sense of trust and integrity for iCheckGateway.com‘s clients and service providers.

So, what exactly IS TLS 1.2? To oversimplify, it’s a security measure that protects sensitive information (i.e. credit card transactions) as it’s transmitted from one person’s computer/app/website to another.

For the tech-savvy, Microsoft (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784450(v=ws.10).aspx ) gives a more detailed explanation:

“In the authentication process, a TLS/SSL client sends a message to a TLS/SSL server, and the server responds with the information that the server needs to authenticate itself. The client and server perform an additional exchange of session keys, and the authentication dialog ends. When authentication is completed, SSL-secured communication can begin between the server and the client using the symmetric encryption keys that are established during the authentication process.”

With all that being said, what does this mean for the iCheckGateway.com customer? Per mandates by the PCI Security Council (Payment Card Industry Security Council), web browsers must support the latest security protocols established with TLS 1.2 or those sites will no longer work. (Ever surf the web and land on a page that says “The site’s security certificate has expired or is not valid” or any other “Error” warnings?).

Our clients must make sure their web browsers are using the latest browsers or credit card transactions and all other website functions will not work.

But checking is easy. Click on http://howsmyssl.com and a page will open that will tell users whether or not their browsers are secure and PCI compliant.

If not, upgrading is essential or your customer’s transactions will not be secure. Business owners should contact their IT departments to confirm their website’s security. For the smaller business owners, contact your website’s host provider.

As for our client’s customers, they need to be advised to also upgrade their browsers. The good news is that bringing the browser up to date is as simple as logging into the browser’s official website and downloading the newest version. To help, here are links to some of the more popular sites:

For further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 888.746.5741 or log onto www.iCheckGateway.com.

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Proper Authorization: WEB Transactions

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

The plastic poinsettias are already on shelves. Ornaments are now hanging in droves along the aisles. Red and green decorations have begun to flow across the store rows. Yep. Holiday shopping is already beckoning consumers to start buying.

For those merchants who rely on the Internet to sell their wares and services, it appears Santa Claus will be kind to e-commerce.

The National Retail Federation is predicting online sales to “increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.”

The predictions are even better from eMarketer. It’s forecasting online sales in the US to jump 17.2 percent this November and December.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea for merchants to revisit the National Automated Clearing House Association’s rules for authorization of WEB Entries (Internet Initiated/Mobile Entries) before the Christmas craziness kicks in.

In this latest post on iCheckGateway.com‘s series on proper ACH authorization methods, we’ll detail the best way to obtain a customer’s authorization to debit his or her bank account for goods or services rendered.

Whether it’s a one-time transaction or a recurring arrangement, all authorizations must have clear and understandable language that a customer can easily see on a computer screen or other visual display such as phones, tablets, notebooks, etc.

The way a merchant presents that online authorization language is flexible, as long as it contains the following:

  • ✓ the transaction amount
  • ✓ the effective date
  • ✓ the routing and account numbers of the customer’s financial institution
  • ✓ a method for the customer to revoke the authorization

Here is iCheckGateway.com’s recommended sample for a one-time online transaction:

I authorize Merchant Name to debit the bank account indicated in this web form, for the noted amount on today’s date. I understand that because this is an electronic transaction, these funds may be withdrawn from my account as soon as the above noted transaction date. I will not dispute Merchant Name debiting my checking/savings account, so long as the transaction corresponds to the terms indicated in this web form.

[Click to Authorize Payment]

If it’s a recurring transaction, wording can be the following:

I authorize Merchant Name to debit the bank account indicated in this web form, for the noted amount starting on today’s date and for the schedule selected by me. I understand that because this is an electronic transaction, these funds may be withdrawn from my account as soon as the above noted transaction date. I will not dispute Merchant Name debiting my checking/savings account, so long as the transaction corresponds to the terms indicated in this web form.

[Click to Authorize Recurring Payment]

In addition, iCheckGateway.com recommends that the payment authorization language appear on the same page as the bank account information to make it clear to the consumer exactly which account he or she is authorizing to be debited.

Merchants are required to keep all authorization agreements for two years in case a customer’s bank requests proof of authorization for a transaction.

Proof of authorization can include the authorization verbiage, documentation that provides transaction details (including customer info), as well as sales documentation to show what goods or services were exchanged. The merchant can also provide a date and timestamp of the customer login, IP address, and authorization process to help evidence the customer’s identity and their agreement to the authorization.

This authorization process, combined with a clickable button prefaced with a statement that the customer agrees to the withdrawal once “clicked”, will satisfy NACHA’s regulations and keep a merchant’s operations running as smooth as eggnog on a Christmas morning.

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Proper Authorization: TEL Transactions

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

Previously, we established that the National Automated Clearing House Association has spelled out the guidelines requiring specific authorizations for online transactions across the ACH network (see Aug. 24 post).

At first glance, the rules governing how authorization can be obtained when debiting a customer’s account look too complex. However, iCheckGateway.com provides their clients the support needed to navigate the various methods to obtain proper authorization.

In this second post of our series detailing the best practices for authorization, the focus will be on TEL Entries, or Telephone-Initiated Entries, for debiting a customer’s bank account.

A TEL entry allows a merchant to debit a customer’s account after receiving the customer’s consent orally over the telephone. This type of authorization for payment can only occur when there is already an existing relationship with the customer, or if the customer contacts the merchant first. The merchant cannot receive a TEL authorization if they are the ones who initiated the communication (i.e. telemarketers).

Preferably, iCheckGateway.com recommends audio recordings of the consent to document authorization for one-time transactions. However, if an audio recording is not available, a written notice, which can be in the form of an email, must be sent to the customer before the settlement date of the one-time transaction.

The merchant is required to keep all copies—audio and written—of the authorization record for two years should a customer’s bank require proof of authorization in a disputed transaction.

There are certain elements that have to be included in the authorization:

  • ✓ The date the customer’s authorization was given
  • ✓ The date on or after which the customer’s account will be debited
  • ✓ The amount of the transaction
  • ✓ The customer’s name
  • ✓ The customer’s account information
  • ✓ A telephone number customers can call with questions
  • ✓ How a customer can revoke the authorization
  • ✓ A statement from the merchant that this authorization is only for a single, one-time ACH transaction to the customer’s account

With all that being said, exactly what should an authorization sound like? Here is a sample:

Sample Authorization for One-Time Debit TEL Transaction

Customer First & Last Name, Merchant Name is requesting your authorization to electronically debit your checking/savings account in the amount of $ amount on or about date of ACH debit. The account information you’ve provided is as follows:

Bank Routing Number: routing number of customer’s bank
Bank Account Number: customer’s bank account #

Is this information correct?

This authorization will be used to originate a single entry, one-time ACH debit entry to your account. At any time prior to processing, you may revoke this authorization by calling our customer service department at ###-###-####. Do I have your authorization today, today’s date, to process this transaction?”

It’s important to note that when dealing with recurring TEL transactions, additional steps must be taken to remain NACHA compliant. Both a written and verbal authorization is needed before initiating the ongoing transactions.

In addition to including the customer’s name, account, revocation method, the merchant’s telephone number, and the date authorization was given, a recurring TEL entry authorization must also contain the following:

  • ✓ the amount of the transactions or a method to determine the amounts to be debited from the customer’s account
  • ✓ the start date and frequency of such transactions

Again, the written notification can be a notice in the form of an email to the customer, or “snail mail” via the U.S. Postal Service or other delivery services.

Of course, these authorization requirements only cover telephone transactions. Our next post will detail the rules governing ACH Network transactions over the Internet, or WEB Entries (Internet-Initiated/Mobile Entries).

 

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Proper Authorization: PPD Transactions

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley
Authorized-Stamp-Blog-06-27-2014

As we’ve stated before (see July 12, 2016 post), the number of transactions across the ACH network has increased dramatically, even in the last year. But that’s not to say that these transactions can occur arbitrarily, without some oversight and protections for both the consumer and the business owner.

The National Automated Clearing House Association has established guidelines that require specific authorizations that allow funds to be debited from or credited to bank accounts to pay for goods and services. Those authorizations can be either written, verbal, and/or electronic, depending upon the type of transaction.

Sound too involved, confusing and legalistic? Not with iCheckGateway.com, which offers support for getting the proper authorizations, thereby protecting their merchants should future disputes arise over transactions.

NACHA rules require you to keep copies of ACH authorization for at least two years following the termination or revocation of the authorization. It may be retained as an electronic record that (1) accurately reflects the information in the record, and (2) is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference. A customer’s bank could request proof of authorization from a merchant, especially if a transaction is ever disputed.

Fortunately, for iCheckGateway.com merchants, support is offered for four different types of authorizations: PPD Transactions (Prearranged Payment and Deposit Entries), TEL Entries (Telephone-Initiated Entries), CCD Transactions (Cash Concentration or Disbursement) and WEB Entries (Internet Initiated/Mobile Entries). Over the next several weeks, we’ll guide you through the process of obtaining authorization for each type.

signing

This post will cover PPD Transactions (Prearranged Payment and Deposit Entries), which allow a business to debit or credit a customer’s bank account via their bank’s routing and account numbers. iCheckGateway.com advises businesses to obtain authorization by having customers sign a written form that includes the amount of the transaction, the date it is to be processed and the bank account information from which the payment is to be debited.

If it is a recurring transaction, such as payments for utility bills, monthly membership fees or loans, the authorization form should also include the frequency of the payments, the not-to-exceed amount for variable recurring amounts, and, if discharging a large debt, the number of payments and total due.

Below are some sample PPD authorizations that can be modified for your business needs.

For recurring PPD entries:

At the top of the form
Sign and complete this form to authorize Merchant Name to make regularly scheduled charges to your bank account. By signing this form, you give us permission to debit your account for the amount indicated below each billing period until the designated expiration date. You agree that no prior notification will be provided unless the date or amount changes, in which case you will receive notice from us at least 10 days prior to the payment being collected.  

Below the customer’s signature
I understand this authorization will remain in effect until I cancel it in writing and I agree to notify Merchant Name in writing of any changes in my account information or termination of this authorization at least 15 days prior to the next billing date. If the above noted periodic payment dates fall on a weekend or holiday, I understand that the payment may be withdrawn from my account as soon as the above noted periodic transaction dates. In the case of an ACH Transaction being rejected for Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF), I understand that Merchant Name may attempt to process the charge again within 30 days, and agree to an additional $XX charge for each attempt returned NSF which will be initiated as a separate transaction from the authorized recurring payment. I acknowledge that the origination of ACH transactions to my account must comply with the provisions of U.S. law. I agree not to dispute this recurring billing with my bank so long as the transactions correspond to the terms indicated in this authorization form.

For a one-time PPD entry:
Sign and complete this form to authorize Merchant Name to make a one-time debit to your bank account. By signing this form, you give us permission to debit your account for the amount indicated on or after the date indicated. This permission is only for a single transaction and does not provide authorization for any additional unrelated debits or credits to your account.

It’s important to note, as well, that NACHA doesn’t specify exactly HOW a merchant can obtain a customer’s bank information for PPD transactions.

For example, some merchants have their customers write their routing number and account number on the form. Other merchants also prefer their customers to provide a corresponding voided check or bank letter to reduce potential errors.

Keep in mind, whichever transaction type is used, merchants are required to keep records of authorization for at least two years in order to remain in compliance with NACHA regulations.

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Unauthorized Return Rates

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley
unauthorized

To say the number of transactions occurring across the ACH Network is growing would be quite the understatement. According to the National Automated Clearing House Association, more than 5 million transactions occurred across the ACH Network in the first quarter of 2016—that’s a 6.1 percent increase from exactly one year ago.

0.5 percent

Unfortunately, with the meteoric increase in transactions, the return rates for failed payments have also increased, prompting NACHA to decrease the unauthorized return rate threshold from 1% to 0.5%.

Unauthorized returns include the following codes:

R05:        Unauthorized Debit to customer’s account
R07:        Authorization revoked by customer
R10:        Customer advises not authorized
R29:        Corporate customer advises not authorized
R51:        Item is Ineligible, Notice Not Provided, Signatures Not Genuine, Item Altered or Amount of RCK Entry not Accurately Obtained From the Item

So what does that mean for the business owner? According to NACHA, this change basically helps a business by compelling it to closely monitor their return rates. The numbers will show whether or not a merchant sees unusual amounts of payments returned as unauthorized.

Exceeding the threshold would result in fines for the processing bank, or Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI), which could then be passed on to the merchant.

Fortunately, iCheckGateway.com has the tools and resources available to help merchants tackle this thorny side of business.

“iCheckGateway.com is committed to helping merchants keep their unauthorized return rates in compliance,” said iCheckGateway.com’s Sarah Wainright. “In addition to providing information on proper authorization types to help merchants reduce the number of transactions returned as unauthorized, we can also turn on check verification to provide online, real-time access to positive and negative account information. Our check verification services identify items at the point-of-sale, which assists in the elimination of potential fraud and reduces the likelihood of returning unpaid items.”

The following steps in iCheckGateway.com’s Online Terminal make it easy to calculate return rates for continued compliance monitoring:

  1. Select the Export Transaction Details Report in the Online Terminal (Reports>Export Transaction Details).
  2. Set Payment Method to Checks and select a desired time period (generally, the preceding sixty days or two calendar months).
  3. Be sure to select Exclude Voids for Transaction Type.
  4. Click Export Data and an Excel spreadsheet is generated.

Then the math begins.

To calculate your Unauthorized Return Rate, you can use Excel’s count, sort and subtotal features to divide the total number of debit entries with codes of R05, R07, R10, R29 and R51 by the total number of debits. If the resulting number is less than 0.5%, the unauthorized return rate is in compliance.

By regularly calculating the Unauthorized Return Rate, businesses can track return rate trends and be ready to take action if needed.

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Email Invoicing

by Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

Still mailing paper invoices to your customers through the good ole United States Postal Service?

Here are some sobering numbers:
>One ream of paper (500 sheets) can cost anywhere between 4 and 7 dollars
>A 500-count box of business envelopes hovers around the price of $30
>Bulk postage can cost between 21 to 27 cents per letter; standard postage is 34 to 49 cents

Email Invoicing Process

So, to mail one bill to one customer, on the cheaper side, it can cost roughly 28 cents. Multiply that by, say, 100 customers; then multiply THAT by 12 months. That’s $336 spent annually on billing customers the “old fashioned way.”

But iCheckGateway.com offers an invoice alternative that would result in an annual mailing cost of $0.00: email invoicing.

“The invoicing system is best suited for any merchant who would typically mail a paper invoice to their customer, but would like to have the convenience of online payments instead,” said iCheckGateway.com’s Daphne Norris. “The email invoice allows the customer to click a link within the email to pay their invoice online using either bank account information (ACH) or a credit card. All payment information will be recorded in the online terminal for the merchant.”
So, when a customer receives your invoice email, they click on the specified link and that link will take the customer to your payment page—that payment is then recorded and managed in your iCheckGateway.com Online Terminal.

Once the Invoicing feature has been activated, this Invoice Management System (found under a specific “Invoice” tab in your Online Terminal) not only provides an easier, quicker way for your customers to pay their invoices, but our system’s dashboard also makes it an efficient way to keep track of who has paid and who hasn’t (i.e. open invoices, paid invoices, customer name, invoice date, due dates color-coded based on status, invoice amount, paid confirmation code, and more). In addition, all payments appear in your iCheckGateway.com account with matching invoice numbers for consolidated reporting.

Already have a database? iCheckGateway.com has a support method in place for that as well.

“If the merchant’s invoice database has the capability of exporting information into an Excel spreadsheet, then it is possible to upload a group of invoices into the iCheckGateway.com invoicing system all at once, rather than creating them manually one-at-a-time,” Norris said. “Specific formatting requirements are available in the online terminal. Once imported, the invoices can be emailed as a group to the customers. But, keep in mind the invoicing system will not update the merchant’s own database. This will need to be done by the merchant.”

If you utilize this time-saving feature, a custom payment portal matching the design of your website will be specifically built for email invoicing. Since the payment portal matches your website, yet is a separate, secure-hosted site, customers can feel more confident in making their payment online.

One side note: there is a one-time setup fee for activating the email invoicing system.

“Generally, this setup fee covers the cost of customizing the invoice to match the design of the merchant’s webpage,” Norris said. “The only ongoing cost would be the standard per transaction fee associated with any transactions that are processed, regardless of how they are received (i.e. invoice email, payment page on their website, IVR, etc.).”

If you’re ready to take the next step in streamlining your company’s accounts receivables and would like to find out how iCheckGateway.com can make bookkeeping more efficient, click here.

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Make Your Accounts Receivables Department Happy with IVR

By Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley

Accounts Receivable: a claim against a debtor, carried on open account, usually limited to debts due from the sale of goods and services (from dictionary.com)

It’s a given: a business offers a product or service, compensation must be collected from the customer. In the past, bills would be mailed, checks written and mailed back, and the accounts receivables department is happy. But with today’s instant-access technology, that method is virtually gone.

One popular method today involves merely picking up the phone, tapping a few numbers or saying a few words, and voila! Account settled.

Otherwise known as Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, this method of collecting payments from customers has become a mainstay in the business industry.

“With IVR, if a customer has a bill to pay, they can call in and pay it from anywhere at any time without having to speak to a live representative,” said iCheckGateway.com’s vice president Chris Hall. “IVR is ideal for a variety of industry types. It has been proven to be very efficient for utility providers, municipalities, doctors offices, dentist offices, landscapers, property managers, and more.”

Different deployments offer a variety of ways a customer can interact with IVR. iCheckGateway.com offers plenty of options: from the basic payment-only option to more advanced, data-driven versions.

IVR

A basic call to a merchant’s unique IVR number would begin with a query asking if the caller desires to initiate payment via a bank account withdrawal or a credit card. Easy-to-understand prompts guide the customer through a straightforward, streamlined experience.

“Advanced versions of IVR are fully customizable to meet a merchant’s specific needs,” Hall said. “It is all according to how much data they want to collect while the payer is on the phone call. Merchants can even upload invoices so when the customer is on the phone, the IVR system will know exactly how much they owe.”

As an iCheckGateway.com client, all payments (including IVR) flow securely into the Online Terminal, allowing for efficient reporting and records keeping.

“Our IVR feature implements the high security standards we are known for, including data encryption,” Hall said. “When the customer enters their payment data via IVR, iCheckGateway.com securely processes the transaction and sensitive payment data is encrypted. iCheckGateway.com is also PCI-compliant.”

Support for English and Spanish are available by default, but additional language support can be added as needed.

To learn more about IVR and the myriad of iCheckGateway.com’s technology-driven solutions, including custom payment portals, QuickBooks Plugin, check verification, email invoicing, recurring billing and more, click here.

 

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iCheckGateway.com WooCommerce PlugIn

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