When payments are collected online they go through a series of services, each of which plays a specific role in handling the payment.
Payment is made
The payment information is entered in a2z. It serves as a Point of Sale, similar to a cash register.
The exhibitor or the show manager enter the credit card information including the name on the card, its number, expiration dates, CSV and so forth. This data is NOT stored in a2z.
Some validation is performed before submitting the transaction, such as to ensure that the credit card number is technically correct, has the correct number of digits and follows the rules for how credit card numbers are constructed, and that the date is a date that is in the future.
The Payment Gateway is a technology for transmitting the credit card data securely. It sends the credit card information to the processor and returns a response back. A2Z works with several specific Payment Gateways.
The Payment Processor connects to the credit card issuer, aka the Merchant Account, to determine whether the credit card number is valid, whether security rules permit the card to be charged, and whether there is sufficient balance for the transaction. If there is an issue with accepting the payment, an error code is sent.
If the transaction is successful, transaction details are sent back from the Merchant Account to the Processor and via the Gateway to A2Z.
If tokenization feature is enabled on the Payment Gateway, a token is stored in the A2Z system, which allows reusing or refunding the credit card.
Some payment processing providers, such as AffiniPay, perform both Gateway and Processor functions. Others, like the PayPal PayFlowPro Gateway solution, can work with many different Processors. A2Z does not interact with the Processors, so when selecting a processor it needs to work with one of the preferred Gateways.
A Payment Processor account has configurations to route the funds into the desired bank accounts.
If the transaction is successful, the funds are deposited in the bank account. This may take anywhere from seconds to several days, depending on whether the Merchant Account or the processor batch their transactions or approve them in real time. Refund transactions may take longer to process than payment transactions
Fees may be collected by the gateway, the payment processor and both the card issuer and fund recipient merchant accounts. At present, the automatic collecting of credit card processing fees from exhibitors is only enabled with the use of AffiniPay.
Voided Payment Attempts
When using the online contract feature there may be times when a payment attempt is Voided. This means that the card information had been sent to the Payment Processor, the payment was verified and the card was charged, but when the A2Z system attempted to save the purchase associated with the transaction, an issue arose and the sale could not be completed. In this case, a2z issues a Void, which retracts the charge.
Depending on the configurations of the various services, it may be possible for the original transaction to show up on a statement before the charge voiding does. This scenario rectifies itself after some time without any further action.