- Electronic Check Services
- How to Process a Check Sale Transaction
- How to Void a Check Transaction
- How to Refund a Check Transaction
- How to Process a "Blind" Credit on a Check
- Video Tutorial
Merchants can accept Electronic Check payments by performing a sale, void, refund, or issue credits via the Virtual Terminal secure web form.
The merchant account will need an active Electronic Check Processing Platform configured in order to see the Electronic Check Virtual Terminal options.
The merchant's user will need the Electronic Check 'Virtual Terminal Access' permission to be able to access the Virtual Terminal to process check transactions. Each user can have access to all or be limited to each Electronic Check Transaction Type: Sale, Void, Refund, and Create New Credits (only applicable if Blind Credits is enabled):
When editing a user's permission, by expanding the section labeled "Virtual Terminal Access" and expanding the "Electronic Check" section, the merchant can set which transaction types they would like to appear in the Virtual Terminal for each user.
Navigating to the Virtual Terminal
In the Merchant Portal, on the left side panel, click on Electronic Check and select the transaction type: Sale, Void, Refund, or Credit (only if enabled) or on the Home page, click on Check Sale.
Electronic Check Services
When an E-Check/ACH transaction is entered into the gateway, it doesn't reach the customer's bank right away. Instead, every day, batch files are compiled with the merchants transactions and submitted. Each transaction must be cleared by the customer's bank. The standard funding time is 3 - 5 days (this may change per each Electronic Check processor and per each merchant depending on their bank). Charges can also be contested causing a return or late return. When checks are funded, they will be marked as settled.
Return vs Late Return
- A Return is when a transaction is rejected before the funds are deposited into the merchant’s bank account.
- A Late Return is when the transaction is rejected after the merchant was funded, so the funding is pulled back out of the merchant’s bank account.
Returns and Late Returns are included on the email notification that can be set for each user that has the "Receive E-Check Notifications" user notification on.
Merchants can search for action type "Returns/Chargebacks" to see check returns when running a Transaction Report.
How to Process a Check Sale Transaction
An Electronic Check Sale is a transaction that is issued through an electronic check. The Routing / ABA Number and the Account Number are used to process the transaction.
- Log in to the Merchant Portal → on the left side panel click on Electronic Check and select the transaction type Sale or use the Shortcut Icon 'Check Sale' on the Home Screen.
- The merchant will be presented with transaction detail fields to enter. Any fields that are marked with an asterisk are required. The merchant will not be able to move past this page without entering at least those fields.
- Any Merchant's Required Fields that have been set during the Electronic Check processor onboarding will also be marked with an asterisk as required.
- Some of these fields have specific formats that the Merchant must meet. Example: the email field must have a @ symbol, and a .com, .net, etc. at the end of it. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org would pass format validation, but john.gmail.com would not.
- For any field that has a tool tip icon next to it, the merchant can hover over it to receive more information on what to enter.
- Electronic Check/Bank Account information can be stored in the Customer Vault (only applicable if Customer Vault is enabled).
- Select the Entry Method (SEC code) - An SEC code is required on each transaction and it must match the way the Proof of Authorization is obtained. It is imperative for the merchant to provide the proper Entry Method (SEC codes) within each ACH transaction based on the form of authorization they receive from their customer. If they do not choose one, this field defaults to WEB. If they're not set up for WEB, a gateway error will be thrown. If the merchant is ever audited by the ACH processor and has a prearranged agreement where PPD, CCD or TEL should have been provided and the transaction was sent as WEB (if this was requested and approved), they would fail the audit and not meet compliance.
Some of the main SEC codes are listed below, but not limited to:
- PPD - Customer signs an agreement with the payment schedule (customer has a personal bank account)
- CCD - Customer signs an agreement with the payment schedule (customer has a corporate/business bank account)
- WEB - Customer initiates payment Online via shopping cart / API
- TEL - Customer calls merchant to make purchase of goods
- POP - Point of Present, requires a check scanner
- Merchants can set a default SEC code in their SEC Code Configuration settings.
- Some of the main SEC codes are listed below, but not limited to:
- If the merchant has multiple Check processors, they can select which Processor to route this transaction under 'Processors'. Merchants with multiple Check processors also have the option to set up Transaction Routing.
- Once the merchant has entered all applicable information for the transaction and everything entered is correct → click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
The Gateway will route the transaction information to the Electronic Check Processor. Once the Gateway receives the response, we will display it, and other information, to the Merchant on the next page. It can take 4-7 business days for an ACH transaction to show as settled.
In the Transaction Receipt page (for approved transactions), the merchant has the option to Void or Refund the transaction, Print and Email Receipt, Create subscription, and Add to Vault (if this service is enabled):
By clicking on the 'Search Account' link, the merchant will be displayed with a Transaction Report on all the transactions that were processed on that Account Number.
How to Void a Check Transaction
A Void is a transaction that will cancel an unsettled sale. Check voids can only be performed before delivery/pick up* and settlement. If the given transaction has been settled then a Refund must be performed. Voids are always for the full amount of the transaction.
*Electronic Check delivery/pick up happens a few times a day, therefore the window to void an E-Check transaction is not going to be a full 24 hours.
- Log in to the Merchant Portal → on the left side panel click on Electronic Check and select the transaction type Void.
- Enter the transaction ID you wish to void.
- Click on Void, this will cancel the transaction.
Transactions can also be voided from the Transaction Detail page in Reporting → Transaction Search.
Once voided successfully, the merchant will be displayed with the Transaction Successfully Cancelled page where they can print or email receipt:
How to Refund a Check Transaction
A Refund will reverse a transaction and return money to the bank account holder of a previous transaction for lesser than or equal to the original transaction amount, but can never be higher than the original amount. It must be associated or launched from a previous sale on the Gateway. Refunds will be triggered by the merchant that initiated the original transaction.
There must be available funds (meaning funds that are no longer in the holding period) in the merchants E-Check Settlement account to cover the refund. If sufficient funds do not exist in the merchants E-Check Settlement account, the refund transaction will be rejected.
- Log in to the Merchant Portal → on the left side panel click on Electronic Check and select the transaction type Refund.
- Enter the transaction ID and the amount you wish to refund.
- once the transaction ID is entered, the amount field will populate the original amount.
- the merchant can choose to make a full refund or a partial refund:
- to make a partial refund, simply set the amount to be less than the original amount.
- to make a full refund, the amount must be equal to the original amount.
- Click on Refund, this will reverse/refund the transaction.
Transactions can also be refunded from the Transaction Detail page in Reporting → Transaction Search.
Once successfully refunded, the merchant will be displayed with the Transaction Successfully Refunded page where they can print or email receipt.
Possible Gateway Errors during Refunding
Refund amount may not exceed the transaction balance refid: 1234567890 - these means the amount that was entered to be refunded exceeded the actual transaction amount. The amount of the refund must be less than or equal to the dollar amount of the original transaction.
Transaction must be settled to be refunded, refid: 1234567890 - this means that the transaction has not settled yet. You can only refund a settled transaction. Instead, try to void the transaction in this instance. To check if it has settled, click on the magnifying glass and search the transaction → if the status says Pending Approval, it indicates that the transaction has not settled yet. It can take 3-5 business days for an ACH transaction to show settlement.
How to Process a "Blind" Credit on a Check
A Credit is a transaction that will return funds to a customer and it is not associated ("tied") to a previous sale transaction. Credit transactions are risk-related*. Credits are essentially a “reverse” sale – meaning the bank account holder will receive funds from the Merchant. The Merchant will be debited for that amount rather than funded.
*Note - merchants must go through a risk review before this is turned on for them due to risks associated with it, for more information please see Blind Credits.
- Once Blind Credits are enable on the merchant account, in the Merchant Portal → on the left side panel click on Electronic Check and select the transaction type Credit*.
- The merchant will be presented with transaction detail fields to enter, similar to a Sale transaction. Any fields that are marked with an asterisk are required.
- Once the merchant has entered all applicable information for the Credit transaction and everything entered is correct → click the Credit button at the bottom of the page.
*Note - the transaction type Credit is only visible when logging in directly as the merchant via the Merchant Portal. Partners "masquerading"/logging in as the merchant from the Partner Portal will not be able to access/see the 'Credits' link in the Virtual Terminal.