It’s every merchant’s nightmare - a customer swipes their credit card to make a purchase, only to discover that the internet connection is down. The terminal can’t connect to the processor, meaning the payment cannot be completed.
What are the merchant’s options when this happens?
- The merchant could write down the customer’s credit card information to process the transaction later; however, this is a big security risk and also violates PCI compliance requirements.
- The merchant could ask the customer if they want to pay in cash; however, that’s less and less likely these days. Only 16% of consumers say they always carry cash.
- The merchant could hold the purchase and ask the customer to come back later when connectivity is restored. However, the customer is likely to simply go elsewhere to purchase their product from a competitor.
So what option does a merchant have that won’t result in lost sales and bad customer experiences? This is where offline credit card processing, specifically Store and Forward from Global Payments Integrated, comes into play.
What is Store and Forward?
Store and Forward is an application from Global Payments Integrated that lets a merchant process transactions offline when there is an outage or connectivity is known to be unreliable.
How Does Store and Forward Work?
Store and Forward works by acting as a gateway proxy that, when online, passes transactions to the gateway and, when offline, acts as the gateway, creating transport keys and approving transactions offline.
The application stores the transactions it has "processed" offline to be forwarded to the gateway when it is back online. It uses metrics like BIN lookup, transaction counters and maximum transaction amounts to determine whether the transaction can be accepted offline.
Why is Store and Forward Important?
To ensure a seamless consumer experience, merchants need the ability to process transactions offline when the network connection, gateway, or processor is down.
Global Payments Integrated’s solution also gives merchants the ability to force a device into offline mode for various scenarios, such as at an event where the network is unreliable.
As an example, this “forced offline” mode can be used at stadiums, trade shows, and other large events where merchants know the available connectivity will be spotty. Rather than waiting for the device to go into offline mode, merchants can set it up in offline mode and not have to worry about it.
Benefits of Offline Card Processing
Offline card processing provides a way for merchants to continue to accept card payments even in the event of an electricity or internet outage. This allows business to continue even during what would typically be considered “downtime,” and also helps merchants avoid unhappy customers and lost sales.
Many mobile vendors rely on devices that attach to their cell phone to allow them to process credit cards. However, this can pose a problem if they are out of cell tower range, or if they’re at a crowded event, such as an outdoor festival or market, where the volume of attendees overwhelms the local service. Offline credit card processing eliminates these issues.
It’s also a good method for vendors whose businesses are mobile, and they might not know if their next work location will have connectivity - Store and Forward functionality provides them with the reliability they otherwise would not have. Some examples of mobile businesses that benefit from offline processing are food trucks, landscapers, and plumbers.
Independent software vendors (ISVs) who offer Store and Forward functionality to their merchants help their merchants provide a seamless checkout process for their customers. The functionality allows merchants to be more proactive when it comes to ensuring their business runs smoothly. To learn more about offering Store and Forward to your merchants, contact us today.