Credit Card Processing Guide

Credit Card Processing Guide
How Credit Card Transactions Work
When a payment is submitted through your site, the site asks your gateway if this payment can be accepted.
Common reasons that a payment might not be accepted are: address submitted doesn't match address for credit
card and CVV code does not match the one of the card. If this payment is declined, a message is returned to the
site stating why if possible. If this payment is approved, the gateway sends the payment information to your
processor. Your processor interacts with your bank account and submits your funds.
In Short: Your gateway is your gatekeeper and your processor is your book keeper.
1. Site to Gateway: Can we approve this?
2. Gateway to Site: Let me check.
◦ Follow-up Option 1: Yes, I'll tell the processor.
◦ Follow-up Option 2: No, tell them this reason.
3. Gateway to Processor: This payment is good. Go ahead and deposit it.
4. Processor to Gateway: Great! I'll work with the banks to move the money from their account to ours.
Setup Choices
Gateway and Processor
We recommend for your gateway and Priority Payment Systems for your processor because we
have a history of success with these companies and they are fully integrated with our software. We also support
any processor you choose that can use as a gateway.
Don't want to use We are integrated with Interware, PayGov, UniPay, and Municipay - all of which
include a gateway and processor.
Who Pays the Fees?
Credit card fees are not included in the cost your software. You can choose whether you would like
to pay the fees for your gateway and processor services with your income (absorb fees) or add on a fee that
your customer pays when they check out (pass on fees). It's important to note that asking your customer to pay
the fee will deter a substantial portion of them from registering online.
Normally, your credit card processing fees are paid out of your bank account every month (ACH). If you choose
to use our recommended gateway and processor, you may elect to use a different option where you fees are
deducted from each transaction as they happen and only the net value is deposited to your account (split
transaction). Both options are available whether you choose to absorb or pass on your fees.
In Short
Which gateway do you want to use?
Which processor do you want to use?
Do you want to absorb the credit card fees or pass them on to your customers?
Do you want to pay credit card fees per transaction or have them withdrawn every month?
Read on for information on these choices, including rates.
Fees Charged for Credit Card Processing
The following fees only applies to those using as a gateway and Priority Payment Systems as a
processor. Fees for other supported gateways and processors are available upon request.
Standard Processing (ACH Fees)
Absorb Fees (most common)
One charge on the customer's credit card
Supports recurring payments
No minimum fee per charge
Refunds may be processed through gateway
Payments can be voided on the day they are created (before batch close)
Credit card processing fees withdrawn from account around the 20 th of each month
Priority Processing Systems Fees (Processor)
▪ $5.00 monthly fee
▪ $5.95 PCI compliance SAQ fee
▪ Agreed upon percentage (1.89% to ~3% based on revenue)
▪ $0.10 per transaction processed in the period
▪ $0.10 per daily batch processed in the period
▪ $7.95 PCI compliance internal scan fee (charged quarterly if needed
◦ Fees (Gateway)
▪ $15.00 monthly fee
▪ $0.10 per transaction processed in the period
▪ $0.10 per daily batch processed in the period
Pass on Fees
This is the same as the Absorb Fees + ACH option except that, on checkout, a percentage of your choosing will
be added on to each transaction, creating additional income for use in paying your credit card processing fees.
Flat Rate Processing (Split Transaction Fees)
Two charges on customer's credit card
◦ Fees will be charged to Reg Fee Payments
◦ Appearance of both accounts payment goes to is required by law
Does not support recurring payments
$240 annual fee billed out (not withdrawn)
◦ No gateway or processor monthly or quarterly fees
Refunds should be issued by check or account credit to avoid withdrawals from your account
◦ Payments can be voided on the day they are created (before batch close)
◦ Fees deducted from transactions are non-refundable
Absorb Fees
2.99% or $3.00 minimum fee per transaction
Department absorbs fees (ex. $100 payment would be split into $3 fee and $97 deposit)
Income minus fees deposited on regular batch cycle
Pass on Fees
3.5% or $3.00 minimum fee per transaction
Customer charged fees (ex. $100 payment adds $3 fee to $100 deposit for $103 total charge)
Full income for items purchased deposited on regular batch cycle
When Deposits Happen (aka What Are Batches?)
Assuming you're using the recommended gateway and processor, your site will submit your payments to the
gateway in real time. The gateway collects all of the transactions approved before its cut-off time (usually
midnight, Eastern) into a batch that it submits to your processor. This can include payments and refunds.
Your processor collects the batches it receives from your gateway into deposits based on its cut-off time (usually
between 6 and 8pm, Eastern) and the availability of banks (No deposits can happen on bank holidays and
Sundays. Some banks also don't allow them on Saturdays). The processor will then deposit those collected
batches on the earliest date it can. This entire process can take 3-4 days. Once you've had your initial week of
deposits, you should see a deposit at least every week day unless some days you took in no income.
In Short
Site to Gateway: It's 10:51am and I have a transaction for you.
Gateway to Site: Great. This transaction looks good. I'll put it in the batch I'm working on.
Site to Gateway: It's 5:15pm and I have a transaction for you.
Gateway to Site: Great. This transaction looks good. I'll put it in the batch I'm working on.
Site to Gateway: It's 12:01am and I have a transaction for you.
Gateway to Site: This transaction looks good., but I already did today's batch. I'll put it in the next one.
Gateway to Processor: It's Friday. Here's today's batch.
Processor to Gateway: Great. I'll move this from their bank to ours.
Gateway to Processor: It's Saturday. Here's today's batch.
Processor to Gateway: Oops, it looks like their bank isn't open on Saturdays. I'll move this on Monday.
Gateway to Processor: It's Sunday. Here's today's batch.
Processor to Gateway: Got it. Banks are closed so I'll add this to Saturday's batch and move it on Monday.
Processor to Bank: It's Monday, here's your deposits from over the weekend.
How to Check Deposits
The system offers many reports to help with reconciliation of funds. The following assumes you're
using the recommended gateway and processor.
To start, you can use the income summary report to see a transaction by transaction list of all payments, refunds,
etc. (For more advanced work where money is split between accounts, you can try the disbursement report that
works best for you.) Set the income summary report to the date range you'd like to look at and click the total next
to Credit Card Totals to see all credit transactions (this won't include refunds, which you'd need to view
With that up, either open your Settled report in your site (contact us if you'd like this turned on) or
go to, log in, and take a look at your settled batches. Because we're looking at transactions that
already batched out, you'll want to set your date range to one day after the one you used on the income
summary report (ex. 4/2-5/1 instead of 4/1-4/30). You can use this report to match the transactions that came
into the gateway to the transactions in your system. Please note that refunds will appear on the day
they were put into, which may be later than the day they were created in the system.
You can also log into your MX Merchant Portal. This is the tool Priority Payment Systems gives you to see all
batches that went through your processor. You can check for batches using the same date range as you did on
the reports, but keep in mind that the cut-off date for your processor is usually earlier than the one
for your gateway so there may be multiple batches for one day and some batches may be next day. Your results
here should match those in your settled batch report, including refunds if applicable.
Similarly, once the dates and times are lined up, your and Priority Payment Systems reports
should match your bank statement for the given time. Please note that batches from Priority Payment Systems
will take several days to completely arrive in your bank account. Once you compare your first week's deposits to
your MX Merchant Portal report or report, you can get an idea of what that offset is for your bank.
In Short
Set Income Summary Report dates to dates you wish to see.
Set dates to one day later for both start and end date.
Priority Payment dates may include multiple batches or put a batch on the next day.
Bank statements will reflect Priority Payment deposits within 3-4 days of batch.
The information above is meant to outline a complex process. Call 1-866-466-9732 if you have questions.