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Overview

This document outlines the credit transaction process used by the FasCard payment system. It contains information regarding the relationship between the merchant processor, Authorize.net gateway, and customer banking institutions.

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FasCard Credit / Debit Transaction Chain

The image below illustrates the FasCard Credit / Debit Transaction Chain. The individual steps that take place within each transaction are described in brief but greater detail below.



Transaction Phases

Phase 1 - Laundry Customer

  • The first step in the transaction chain occurs when a laundry customer makes a purchase using a credit or debit card.
  • Purchase information is then transmitted from the customers card to the FasCard system.

Phase 2 - FasCard Payment System

  • The FasCard system receives the information from the customer card and requests a pre-authorization for a preset amount (also known as an Authorization Hold. This amount is configured on the FasCard Admin Site - Server Management page.)
  • Pre-authorization request information is then transmitted from the FasCard system to the Authorize.Net Gateway.

Phase 3 - Gateway

  • Gateway receives the payment information from the FasCard system.
  • Gateway securely routes the information to the Merchant Processor.

    Currently FasCard supports Authorize.net and BridgePay gateways

Phase 4 - Merchant Processor

  • The Merchant Processor receives the information from Authorize.Net.
  • The Merchant Processor submits the transaction to the appropriate credit card network (MasterCard, Visa, etc).

Phase 5 - Credit Card Network / Issuing Bank

  • The credit card network receives the pre-authorization information from the Merchant Processor and directs it to the card-issuing bank, which responds and approves (or denies) the transaction.
  • The Issuing bank places a hold on the appropriate funds and sends that information to the credit card network.
  • Once the pre-authorization hold is approved, transaction information is sent back up the chain to the Merchant processor, which it then passes through Authorize.net and on to the FasCard system, permitting the transaction to be completed.

Phase 6 - FasCard System

  • The FasCard system receives the transaction information for the pre-authorization and allows the vend to be completed.
  • Once all in-store transactions are complete for the customer card (controlled by the idle time setting on the FasCard Admin Site - Server Management page), the FasCard system transmits the actual total for all transactions to Authorize.Net. This information is then transmitted across the same transaction chain outlined above..

Phase 7 - Issuing Bank / Merchant Bank

  • The Issuing bank sends the appropriate funds to the credit card network, which passes those funds to the Merchant bank.
  • The Issuing bank releases any remaining difference between the transaction total and the pre-authorization hold back to the laundry customer's account. The release time varies by institution.
  • The Merchant bank receives the funds transmitted by the credit card network.
  • The Merchant bank processes the transaction and deposits the funds into the store owner's account.

Declined Credit Cards

Credit cards that have been declined are locked out of the system for two minutes to prevent repeated merchant transaction fees.  During this two minute period, the end user will receive the same "Card Declined" message that was originally generated.

Offline Credit Card Processing

Credit cards processed using offline processing that exceed their maximum authorization limit will display an "Authorization limit exceeded" message on the associated FasCard reader.

Following FasCard Release 14, offline credit processing is available for operators that elect to offer it.  This allows laundry customers to use credit cards when the FasCard satellite is unable to reach the FasCard servers due to internet outage.  This requires an evaluation of risk and reward as these transactions are essentially delayed - the credit card is effectively accepted 'on good faith' that transactions will clear once satellite connectivity is restored.  This amount may be limited by the operator using the FasCard Admin Site - Server Management page.  Feature availability may be limited to specific firmware; contact Technical Support for more information.

Transaction Processing Logic

FasCard utilizes pre-authorization as a method to batch smaller transactions and reduce transaction fees for the operator/owner.  There are two different modes that use this pre-authorization method and are described below. 

Pre-Authorization Only Mode

This is the default mode when the system is initially configured. When this mode is selected, the customer has a Pre-Authorization hold amount put on their credit card.  Once the customer has met the Pre-authorization hold amount (or once the designated idle time is reached), the card is charged (captured) for the amount used and remaining funds (if any) are released. See Authorization Hold Description for more information on this practice as well as FasCard Credit Transaction Processing for more information.

An scenario of how this operates is outlined below:

  1. An operator/owner has a pre-authorization amount configured for $20.00.  
  2. Customer swipes credit card, max possible transaction price is $9 (base cycle cost) + $3 (cost of all possible adders)=$12.
    1. Pre-authorization #1 is issued for $20.
    2. Customer purchases wash only ($9) and has $11 remaining on pre-authorization.
  3. Card swiped, max possible transaction price is $9 (base cycle cost) + $3 (cost of all possible adders)=$12.
    1. Maximum possible cycle cost exceeds amount available on pre-authorization #1, so pre-authorization #2 occurs for $20.00.
    2. Retail user purchases wash only ($9) and has $2 remaining on pre-authorization #1 and $20 remaining on pre-authorization #2.
  4. Retail user makes no further purchases - pre-authorization #2 for $20.00 is voided.
  5. Retail user statement shows one transaction for $18.00.  

Test and Trust Mode

When this mode is selected, the customer's card is temporarily charged a pre-set amount of $0.29 to test that the card is valid. If the test is successful, the $0.29 is voided and the customer can now spend up to the designated Trust Amount (see below). If this "Trust" amount is not reached, then after the designated Idle Time the card is charged (captured) only for the amount they used. If the "Trust" amount is reached, or exceeded, then the customer is charged the $0.29 again and, if successful, can spend up to the "Trust" amount again in the next set of transactions. If the charge fails, FasCard will retry the charge at a lower amount. 

Following are several scenarios describing the "Test and Trust" logic.  For these scenarios assume the owner has set a max trust to $40 and idle time to 2 hours.

Successful Capture Scenarios:

  1. Scenario 1:
    1. Customer swipes card, $0.29 pre-auth is approved and voided, customer can now spend up to $40
    2. Customer spends $32.00, 2 hour expires, customer card is charged $32.
  2. Scenario 2:
    1. Customer swipes card, $0.29 pre-auth is approved and voided, customer can now spend up to $40
    2. Eventually customer attempts a purchase that would push him over the $40 limit
      1. FasCard attempts to capture the amount spent so far, and if successful then creates a new 'test-and-trust' authorization that allows an additional $40 to be spent
    3. 2 hour expires, the 2nd 'test-and-trust' authorization is then captured.

Failed Captured Scenarios:

  1. Scenario 3:
    1. Customer swipes card, $0.29 pre-auth is approved and voided, customer can now spend up to $40
    2. Customer spends $32.00
    3. 2 hour expires, customer card gets declined the $32 charge
      1. FasCard decrements the $32 charge by $3 and retries
        1. If successful, store owner loses $3 but recovers $29
        2. If the $29 fails, FasCard decrements charge by another $3 and retries
      2. If the decreasing attempted charge falls below $5 FasCard stops retrying and store owner loses the full amount of $32
  2. Scenario 4:
    1. Customer swipes card, $0.29 pre-auth is declined
    2. FasCard then reverts to pre-auth-only logic for this credit card (for the rest of the day); any subsequent swipes of the card must be pre-authorized for $20 before transactions will be accepted
  3. Scenario 5:
    1. Customer swipes card, $0.29 pre-auth is approved and voided, customer can now spend up to $40
    2. Eventually customer attempts a purchase that would push him over the $40 limit
      1. Server attempts to capture the amount spent so far, but this is declined
      2. Server repeatedly attempts to capture smaller amounts until some amount is accepted or server gives up
    3. FasCard then reverts to pre-auth-only logic for this credit card (for the rest of the day)

The FasCard system remembers a trusted card for about 24 hours after the capture; if someone comes back within this time period then the system will see that the card is still trusted, and will immediately authorize up to $40.  After these 24 hours then the system will need to pre-auth the $0.29 again before it will trust the card again.

FasCard will remember a card that fails to capture - essentially one that cannot be trusted – for 7 days.  If the card is re-swiped during that time then FasCard will revert to the original 'pre-auth & hold' logic when authorizing the card. 

When using "Test and Trust" mode, the following fields need to meet these guidelines:

  • Auth/Hold amount needs to be greater than or equal to the highest priced machine. It cannot be set to $0.
  • The Trust Amount needs to be greater than or equal to the Auth/Hold amount.  (If the Trust amount is less than the Auth/Hold amount, the system will revert to the original Pre-Authorization logic.)

Credit Card Surcharge

Owners can charge an additional amount for using using a credit card on machines. 

Please note that this charge will NOT show on the readers when customers use their credit card.  Customers will only see the vending price of the machine.  Please see the CCI website for more information on signage relevant to this surcharge at https://www.laundrycard.com/resources?category=signage.

The credit card Surcharge occurs at the time of the credit card capture and will appear on the Sales reports.  See Credit Card Captures and Transaction Cut-Off Time for more information on the capture process.

The Scenario below describes when the Surcharge is applied.

  1. Customer swipes card on machine
    1. Pre-Auth of $20.00 is held.
    2. Customer uses 2 machines at $1.00 each = $2.00 total
    3. Idle time of 2 hours passes and customer does not swipe card again.
    4. The capture is a total of $2.00 and at this time, surcharge is added (Whatever % is set, example 10%)
    5. Total amount customer is charged is $2.20 

Credit Card Discount

Owners can also use the Surcharge field to give a discount to customers for using a credit card.

By entering a negative amount in the credit card Surcharge field, example -10%, the customer will receive a 10% discount on the amount of money spent by using their credit card.  This feature can be used to encourage customers to move away from coin and cash transactions.

The Scenario below describes when the discount is applied.

  1. Customer swipes card on machine
    1. Pre-Auth of $20.00 is held.
    2. Customer uses 2 machines at $1.00 each = $2.00 total
    3. Idle time of 2 hours passes and customer does not swipe card again.
    4. The capture is a total of $2.00 and at this time, discount is applied (Whatever -% is set, example -10%)
    5. Total amount customer is charged is $1.80