Making the payment process more efficient and less expensive is a priority for online merchants. For customer satisfaction, a streamlined, real-time transaction process is a necessity. There are two main parts to a credit card transaction. First, the transaction is authorized, and then the payment is transferred to the merchant account at the acquiring bank. Authorizing a payment is quick and simple, but real-time payment processing of each individual transaction is expensive and complicated. Thus, batch payment processing is an effective solution.
What is batch payment processing?
With batch processing, a number of authorized transactions are processed at the same time. This can be done at any time, but it is most cost effective to do it just once per day, as the credit card processor charges a fee every time a batch is processed.
How does batch payment processing work?
As mentioned above, there are two parts to processing a credit card transaction. When a customer’s credit card is swiped, the transaction details are sent through the transaction authorization path, during which the issuing bank approves the transaction and a hold is put on customer funds. This occurs in real-time. Resulting credit card authorization codes are stored in a single file by the credit card terminals or credit card processing platform. This file is known as a ‘batch’.
Later on, the second stage, fund transfer, occurs. This is when customer credit cards are actually charged. When batch processing is used, the batch of authorization codes is uploaded and processed simultaneously, once a day. This is also known as ‘closing the batch’. Usually this process is carried out at the end of the work day.
During batch processing, the merchant sends the batch of authorization codes to the credit card processor. The credit card processor then forwards these codes to the relevant issuing banks. As a hold has already been put on customer funds, all that remains is for the issuing bank to release the funds and send them to the processor. The processor then forwards the funds to be deposited into the merchant account. This process usually occurs within 48 hours of the transaction. After the funds are transferred from the user’s bank to the merchant account, the transaction is complete, and it will show up on the customer’s next credit card statement.
Many credit card processors offer an automatic service through which transactions are settled at the same time every day.
Why should you use batch payment processing?
Batch payment processing has many benefits. This is what batch payment processing can do for you and your customers:
Improve the customer experience
Payment authorization occurs instantaneously at the time of the purchase. As far as the customer is concerned, their role in the payment process is already complete. There is no need for the customer to wait while the payment is transferred. The transaction process appears fast and streamlined, leading to an improved customer experience.
Instead of spending time processing individual payments throughout the day, you can simply upload a batch of transactions for processing at the end of the day.
Credit card processors charge a fee every time payments are processed. Processing individual transactions can result in hefty fees. These charges are minimized if batch processing is used, as you will only need to pay the fee once a day.
It’s easier to keep track of payments that are processed in batches. All transactions details are stored in one place for easy review and management.
When batch payment processing is used, you don’t need to manually store and process credit card information on an individual basis. This lowers security risks. Instead, the PCI DSS certified payment service provider stores and processes sensitive credit card information securely, complying with the highest security standards.
Batch payment processing is quick and effective, allowing you to accept payments in one single step, with minimum fees. Use batch payment processing to keep your customers satisfied and make your job easier, too.