It’s the age old issue. You have a great day at your business, and after 24-48 hours, you check your account excitedly to see all that cash flow. However, the account is emptier than you expected. In fact, did the funds even get deposited?! Where is my money? Don’t fret. A lot of things can get between you and access to your hard-earned money.
I sat down with Zulis, a lead member of our customer service team, and Michael, one of our technical support gurus, to find out exactly where breakdowns can occur. What I found was that there are a lot of moving parts in processing, but luckily, most have simple solutions.
You might feel a lot like Jerry Maguire when you check your account, but make sure to follow the correct procedures to get your funds fast!
I cannot stress this one enough. Zulis told me that at least half of all of the calls that come in with issues with account deposits involve batching. Batching or settling with your credit card terminal has to be done before you will get your money. If you forget to batch or something goes wrong, there is no way for your processor to know how many transactions you’ve processed, and more importantly, how much money you’ve made!
Here are some common roadblocks that you may encounter.
Knowing Your Equipment
Michael explained to me that depending on your processor, you may have host capture or term capture. Host capture is more automatic, and term capture is more manual. Beyond that, with different equipment, you may have manual or automatic batching.
Talk to your payment provider to ensure you’re aware of how to correctly batch out and what YOU need to do to ensure you get your funds promptly.
Knowing the Correct Processing Procedures
Again, this is determined by your payment processor. When you get set up, make sure you ask lots of questions and know exactly what the requirements and turnaround time is from when you batch your transactions until your bank account has the available funds.
"If you batch after a certain time set by the processor, the batch will be pushed back another day, and that will keep you from getting your funds when you want them—which is as soon as possible."
Make sure you know the time limit. If you have manual batching, it is common practice to do so every night before the cutoff, which is usually any time before the 6 pm EST or 5 pm CST, says Michael. If you batch after a certain time set by the processor, the batch will be pushed back another day, and that will keep you from getting your funds when you want them—which is as soon as possible.
Faulty Internet or Phone Lines
If your batching occurs automatically in the middle of the night, Michael also pointed out that your internet or phone line provider will occasionally perform maintenance at the same time. No internet or phone line connection = no successful transmission.
If you’re concerned that a batch may not have successfully gone through, check your online reporting to make sure that everything is working as intended. (It’s a good idea to keep tabs on this regularly anyway!)
Issues with Your Bank or Bank Account
There are many things that can go wrong with your bank account. It could be closed, frozen, have an account number error, or be in poor standing with the bank. Issues like these commonly occur at the beginning of the month, states Zulis, so keep an eye out around that time. In order to resolve these issues, it's usually necessary to contact the bank directly, as they have control over the actual account.
Another important point to keep in mind is that the banks process funds only on business days. That means that all the money you make over the weekend won’t be processed until Monday, and depending on your credit card processor and bank, will probably not show up until Tuesday morning. National holidays and other days can affect this timeline as well.
If you’ve received some funds, but less than you expected, there could be reasons for that too. Usually, refunds are to blame. While most people expect refunds to be processed separately, they are usually deducted from the charges made that day. For example, if you process $500 in sales but $300 in refunds, you will only see $200 in net sales deposited, explained Zulis. Similarly, you can even have a negative balance if you process more returns than sales for the batch.
If you have a cash advance that you are paying back, some people forget that a percentage of their sales are used to pay back this cash advance. Finally, if you have a negative balance or chargeback on your account, your processor may be required to hold some or all of the funds in order to pay for it.
Overall, processing credit cards can be tricky, but Michael assured me that with the right understanding of the correct procedures and equipment, you can keep things running smoothly. Make sure to keep a regular habit of batching daily and on time, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call your technical support specialist, as they are more than happy to help walk you through.