How to Prevent Lost Sales With Our Support for Offline TransactionsMary Ann Felts
Two of the greatest catalysts for innovation in the payment technology space are arguably widespread internet connectivity combined with the increased adoption of mobile devices. Technology is amazing — until it doesn’t work when you need it to (sigh). Spotty internet connectivity can kill sales.
If you’re a merchant who works in remote areas or if you have ever lost connectivity for any reason, sadly you know what we are talking about. If you are a developer serving a multitude of merchants, this issue is exponentially multiplied.
Writing the payment information down is a seemingly workable solution — though it’s not at all secure, prone to error, and depends on whoever is in the field remembering to run the transaction later. But losing sales (and your share of the processing fees if you’re an independent sales vendor) isn’t a great option either.
Cardknox’s solution to this dilemma is a feature we call Offline Transactions, sometimes referred to as store and forward. The choice to use Offline Transactions depends on many factors, including your risk tolerance; however, many merchants benefit from Offline Transactions by preventing lost sales.
Read on as we answer some commonly asked questions regarding this feature.
What is Offline Transactions?
Offline Transactions is a valuable Cardknox gateway feature that allows merchants to accept card-present and manually keyed-in credit card payments in the absence of internet connectivity. In the event that the merchant loses internet connectivity, offline processing will securely store the customer’s card information in the payment terminal. Then, when connectivity is restored, the transaction is authorized and captured.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Offline Transactions?
Since Offline Transactions are not authorized at the time of sale, there is a risk that the transaction may decline once processed— for example, due to a lack of funds or an inactive card. To help offset this risk, businesses will often set a maximum amount, or a cap, for Offline Transactions.
Which Types of Merchants Benefit From Offline Transactions?
Offline Transaction processing is especially useful for businesses that want to be able to accept credit card transactions in-person even in the absence of an internet connection. This is ideal for any business that wants to avoid disruption in credit card processing, and especially those that process payments in areas with unreliable internet service.
Additionally, merchants concerned about chargeback liability can benefit from Offline Transactions as it is still possible to qualify for EMV protection against chargebacks as opposed to when card details are written down and keyed in.
Because of the risks inherent in offline processing, it may not be suitable for certain businesses. For example, businesses in sectors with high fraud rates, or those that sell higher-priced goods or services have more to lose if the transaction fails.
Another factor that businesses may want to consider is how easy it is for them to contact the customer in the event that a transaction is declined. In general, service providers who have an established relationship with their clients are good candidates for this feature. If an established client’s card is declined, the merchant is likely to have the customer’s contact information on file to send another invoice.
On the other hand, a brick-and-mortar merchant may never see a customer again, making the use of this feature riskier. For such merchants, setting a cap on Offline Transactions can help offset risk.
Which Payment Terminals Support Offline Transactions?
The Offline Transactions feature is available with all of our fully integrated devices, including Verifone terminals and the ID TECH Augusta reader. Additionally, Cardknox’s Offline Transactions feature is available with keyed-in transactions.
How Can I Get Started With Offline Transactions?
Offline Transactions is available for our BBPOS and Payment Engine SDK integrations. Contact us today to learn more, or check out the documentation below!