Credit Card and eCheck Processing

Overview

One of the most powerful features of AlarmBiller is its ability to handle Credit Card & eCheck processing.  For purposes of this document, unless otherwise noted, the processing of Credit Cards and eChecks have the same functionality.

Creating Credit Card & eCheck transactions within AlarmBiller

  • Recurring Payments:  These will be automatically created transactions that have been scheduled to take place when you create your recurring invoices.
  • One Time Payments:  These are transactions initiated by you on an individual basis to pay an open invoice for a customer, take a payment on account, or take a deposit payment.
  • Work Order Payments:  When completing a service or installation work order, you can automatically take the payment for the completed work.
  • Customer Web Portal:  If you elect to use the customer web portal, your clients can log online to access there account and make Credit Card or eCheck payments online.

Types of credit cards accepted

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Discover

An eCheck is an ACH bank transaction whereby you are pulling money directly from your customer’s bank or savings account and depositing the money into your bank account.

 A Note on PCI Compliance

AlarmBiller is a PCI Compliant solution.   If you are going to accept Credit Card & eChecks you have to be sure you maintain PCI Compliance.  We have all read the headlines of companies who have had Credit Card data compromised by hackers.  With AlarmBiller this is of no worry to you.  Simply stated this is because AlarmBiller is a PCI Compliant solution that uses Security Tokens instead of actual Credit Card numbers or eCheck (Bank) account numbers.

Neither Credit Card nor Bank account numbers are stored within the AlarmBiller database.  Instead, when you setup a Credit Card or eCheck within a customer record, AlarmBiller automatically replaces the account number with a Security Token provided by FORTE, the exclusive provider of Credit Card & eCheck processing within AlarmBiller.

Using the FORTE services, all communications between AlarmBiller and FORTE are being done via a SSL Secured Socket using 128bit security, and have been approved and certified PCI Compliant.

AlarmBiller also operates on the web using its own SSL Security Certificate, so all data transmitted via the web is always secure and protected, in addition to the PCI Compliance as stated above.

You can sleep well at night knowing your customers Credit Card & Bank account information is safe and secure using AlarmBiller.

FORTE – AlarmBiller’s Exclusive Credit Card & eCheck Partner

In order to accept Credit Cards and process eChecks using AlarmBiller you are required to sign-up with our exclusive provider of these services, FORTE.  FORTE is one the nation’s largest providers of Credit Card and eCheck processing services, and we have negotiated special rates for AlarmBiller customers to ensure your rates will be competitive and fair.  We have been working with FORTE for over 15 years and they have been a great partner and provider of Credit Card & eCheck services.

To sign-up with FORTE while logged into AlarmBiller select the Setup option, then choose the option eCheck / Credit Card under the Utilities options.  Click on the Create new Forte Merchant Account link.  From here you can apply online for a FORTE account.  For more information please give your AlarmBiller account representative a call.

How Credit Card & eCheck Transactions Process in AlarmBiller

The power of AlarmBiller is its automatic processing of Credit Card & eCheck transactions.  We wanted to make the process as easy as possible, and automate all the steps necessary to save you time processing your electronic payments.  The diagrams below explain how Credit Card & eCheck transactions are processed within AlarmBiller.

Recurring credit card & eCheck transactions

A recurring transaction is a Credit Card or eCheck setup within a customer’s account to automatically settle their recurring invoice charges.  When setting up a Credit Card or eCheck within a customer, you can select which day of the month you would like the transaction to settle.  You can choose any date between the 1st of the month and the 28th.  So if a customer asks to not process the transaction until the 10th of the month, you would select “10” as the hold date when setting up the recurring Credit Card or eCheck.

Here’s how it works within AlarmBiller:

CC eCheck Fig 1

  1. Generate Recurring Invoices:  When you generate your recurring invoices, any customer that is setup with an auto payment using either a Credit Card or eCheck will automatically create a Credit Card or eCheck transaction to be processed.
  2. Transmit Credit Card or eCheck Transactions:  Select the option to submit your transactions for funding.  This is an easy process in AlarmBiller that will automatically submit all the Credit Card or eCheck transactions for that day that need to be settled.  You will notice on the Home screen a notice if there are any transactions that need to be settled that day.
  3. Transactions Post to Customer Account:  Automatically the Credit Card or eCheck transactions are posted to the payment processing batch and posted to the Customer’s account.  There’s nothing you have to do!  For each day you process transactions, AlarmBiller will automatically create a Credit Card payment batch and an eCheck payment batch.  It’s done this way to make reconciling your back account easy, as Credit Card and eChecks are posted by transaction type. 

Non-funded transactions

Credit Cards:  Credit Card transactions that are not approved will not create a payment posting record and will be recorded in the customer’s history with why the transaction failed.  All transactions that were denied can also be found under the Payments option under the Denied tab.  From here you have the option to View the transaction or Resubmit it.

eChecks:  eCheck transactions are posted to the customer’s account at the time the transaction is created.  This is because it take 24 hours for the banking system to process eChecks through the ACH system.  Any eCheck that is not funded will have to be treated as a NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) payment, just as if the customer wrote you a bad check.  We recommend you don’t close out eCheck payment batches for a few days to wait and see if any of the transactions come back rejected.  You can then edit the payment batch and remove the payment accordingly.

One-time and work order transactions

Both one-time and work order transactions process in the same manner, it just depends on where within AlarmBiller you initiate the transaction.

When processing a one-time or work order transaction, as soon as you complete the transaction it will post the payment automatically and update the Customer’s account.  It’s really that simple, there’s not much you have to do.

CC eCheck Fig 2

If the Credit Card transaction is not approved, AlarmBiller will let you know the transaction did not post and the reason why.  You can also see the denied transactions under the Denied tab within the Payments area.

Customer web portal transactions

When a customer processes a Credit Card or eCheck transaction it will process real-time, letting the customer know if it was approved or not.  If the transaction is approved it will automatically post to the customer’s account and create the payment transaction.  If the transaction fails for any reason, it will let the customer no why so they can try again.  Complete history of all Credit Card or eCheck transactions made on the customer web portal is saved within the Customer’s record within AlarmBiller.