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					Authorisation

0845 7 600 500
(for Cardholder Present only)

0845 7 600 530
(for Cardholder Not Present only) This section deals with standard authorisation procedures. There is additional information for Cardholder Not Present transactions, please refer to Section 11 ‘Cardholder Not Present’ for further information. Authorisation is a way of checking that the card has not been reported lost or stolen, and that there is enough money in the account to pay for the goods or services being purchased. Although authorisation can confirm these facts, IT DOES NOT GUARANTEE PAYMENT. When you telephone for authorisation, you must do it at the time of transaction, while the cardholder is present, not later, and while you are holding the card. Do not hand the card back to the cardholder until authorisation has been completed. If you have an electronic terminal, the authorisation check is made automatically so you will not normally need to telephone. On occasion, however, you will be prompted to make a manual authorisation call. This is known as a ‘referral’.
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In order to avoid the terminal cancelling the transaction whilst you are making the call, you should press ‘enter’. (Please see your Terminal User Guide for full details.) See ‘Things you may need to ask the customer’ for what happens next. If your terminal has stopped working you will need to process the transaction using the back-up pack with an imprinter and paper vouchers. Where the transaction value is above your agreed ‘floor limit’, you will need to manually phone for authorisation (‘floor limit’ is covered later in this section).

Please note that the paper back-up facility is not available for Maestro International and Visa Electron cards. In these circumstances you will need to ask for an alternative method of payment from the customer: cash, cheque or a different card.

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When do I need to know my ‘floor limit’? Your electronic terminal will have been supplied with floor limits pre-programmed into it and will automatically telephone for authorisation when necessary. You will also have been advised of your ‘floor limit’ to be used with all transactions made using a paper imprinter, either: 1. When your terminal has broken down and you are using the paper voucher system as a temporary alternative 2. Because you do not have a terminal.

The floor limit applies even if the cardholder asks for a transaction to be paid partly in cash and partly by card. If the total amount of the transaction exceeds your floor limit you will need to telephone for authorisation, even if the card payment amount is below the agreed floor limit. You must also tell the Authorisation Centre that this is a ‘split sale’. DO NOT allow customers to split the sale into two separate amounts on one card, or between different cards.

Making an Authorisation Call The ‘floor limit’ represents a cash amount. For all transactions processed on paper above this amount, the person accepting the card MUST telephone for authorisation. All staff members will need to know the floor limit, but DO NOT write the floor limit down where customers can see it, or tell customers what it is. If you have an Agreement to handle ‘Cardholder Not Present’ transactions (that is mail, telephone, fax or Internet orders) your business may have two different floor limits – one for this type of transaction, and one for when the customer is in the shop and you can see the card. Make sure that your staff know and use the right floor limit for each type of sale. The Streamline Authorisation Service has a ‘touchtone’ facility for speed and your convenience. During the call you will be asked to key in the following information on your telephone keypad: • Card number (12 to 19 digit number across the centre of the card) • For Maestro (Domestic) and Solo cards: issue number or start date found on the front of the card • Streamline Merchant Number – we can supply stickers to go by your telephone with the Authorisation Service number printed on them, and room to write your Merchant Number • Total amount (£ sterling) including any CashBack element (maximum CashBack £50) • Card expiry date
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Things you may need to ask the cardholder Sometimes in a Referral or an Authorisation call you may be required to ask one or several security questions. These questions may require the cardholder to provide some personal information. Explain to the cardholder that these are necessary for card authorisation and that their card issuer has made the request for these questions to be asked as part of their standard security procedure. You will also need to explain that neither you or Streamline have access to the information being requested. If your cardholder has any objections to the questions being asked you should direct them to contact their card issuer. If the area is crowded you should ask the cardholder to write their answers down on a piece of paper, to preserve confidentiality. The note should be destroyed after authorisation.

When authorisation has been received Most terminals will automatically request and approve authorisation, however if you have been prompted to make a voice authorisation, once approved, key the authorisation code into the terminal when prompted to do so. Refer to your Terminal User Guide for further details. If you are processing on paper write the Authorisation Number clearly on the voucher in the space provided. Please note even if authorisation is received this is still not a guarantee of payment.

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If the transaction is declined • Give the card back to the cardholder and explain that the transaction has not been authorised (unless the authorisation centre asks you to retain the card and it is safe to do so) • There are many reasons why a payment may not be authorised, and it may not be the customer’s fault • If the cardholder asks for an explanation advise them to contact their card issuer – there is normally a helpline number on the back of the card • If the cardholder wishes to continue with the purchase you will need to ask for an alternative method of payment. Remember any new card offered for payment will need to be checked for authenticity. Refer to Section 2 ‘Fraud Free Sales’ for further information • Make sure you destroy any partially completed sales vouchers in front of the cardholder.

When should I make a ‘Code 10’ call? The call should be made when: • You are suspicious about the card, the person who presents it, or the circumstances surrounding the purchase. (Refer to Section 2 ‘Fraud Free Sales’ for further information) • Someone presents an unsigned card • You are specifically requested to do so by Streamline. If you need to make a ‘Code 10’ call, wait to speak to an operator before the authorisation process starts. Do not press the * button to use the automatic touch-tone system: wait to speak to the operator. (If you press * by accident, ring off and start again.) Once you are through to the operator, tell them “this is a ‘Code 10’ call” straight away. If you say this, the operator will understand you are suspicious of the transaction and will ask a series of questions that you will only need to answer with “yes” or “no”.

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Please note that a ‘Code 10’ call is not a standard authorisation. As with all authorisations, however it does not guarantee payment: it simply tells Streamline that you are suspicious about the card or the cardholder. Even if a ‘Code 10’ procedure leads to authorisation the card payment is still not guaranteed. Refer to Section ‘Fraud Free Sales’ for further information.

If the Authorisation Centre asks you to retain the card Sometimes, the Authorisation Centre may ask you to retain the card. Explain to the cardholder as politely as possible that this is at the request of their card issuer. You will then need to follow your own company policy on whether you detain the cardholder or call the Police. If you are required to call the Police please ensure you do this without arousing suspicion. You may decide that a card is suspicious even if the Authorisation Centre does not request for the card to be retained. You may have identified the card as counterfeit. Card thieves act fast, and will often try to use a card before the owner notices that it has gone. A reward may be paid for the recovery of a card that is being misused. If you are left holding a suspicious card, look after it and follow the instructions under ‘Preserving Evidence’ in Section 2 ‘Fraud Free Sales’. NEVER PUT YOURSELF OR ANOTHER MEMBER OF STAFF OR A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC AT RISK

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Making changes after authorisation and before processing/banking Sometimes, after you have already called for authorisation, you may need to make changes: the cardholder may change their mind about a purchase, or cancel the sale altogether. If you are processing payments electronically, then your terminal will make all the necessary adjustments: however this may take a few days to appear on the cardholder’s statement. Refer to Section 6 ‘Refunds’ for further information. If you have used a paper voucher for the transaction, you will need to cancel the paper vouchers by writing CANCELLED across all the copies. You will then need to print new vouchers, and call the Authorisation Centre again.

You will need to give the following information: 1. The card number (12 or 19 digit number across the centre of the card) 2. Your Streamline Merchant Number 3. The expiry date on the card 4. The authorisation number 5. The amount of the sale 6. The new amount of the sale, unless it is completely cancelled, in which case you will just need to say that it is cancelled.

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