Credit and debit card numbers change for a variety of reasons including card expirations, card product type upgrades, portfolio conversions, and compromised account numbers among others.
For merchants who offer services that are billed on a recurring or installment basis (for example, web hosting, gym memberships, specialized social networking, career services, monthly donation plans, etc.) out-of-date payment information can result in lost revenue, involuntary churn and decreased customer satisfaction.
Prior to the development of the Account Updater service, the standard method for merchants to obtain updated account information was to submit a batch file containing existing card information, requesting a check for updates. Typically, merchants request updates for customer accounts scheduled to be billed in the next billing cycle. This legacy method is a relatively slow process, requiring several days for the accumulation of responses from the card networks/issuers and then to make the response file available to the merchant. Merchants must then update their billing systems with the new information, requiring IT processing cost. Failure to update their files can result in multiple requests (and charges) for the update information, as well as delays or lost revenue, higher Authorization expenses, and possibly chargebacks when old account information is used.
The Account Updater service shifts the workload of obtaining and maintaining updated account information to Vantiv. Utilizing configurable scheduling algorithms, Vantiv initiates account update requests on the merchant’s behalf and then stores the updated card information for use in future transactions. Merchants simply submit billing transactions normally and, if necessary, Vantiv updates the transaction with the stored card information before submitting it to the networks for authorization. This fully managed service requires no code update on the merchant’s systems.
Account update requests may be submitted in batch and can involve real cards or tokens representing real card information for added security. Sample XML to invoke the updater service is shown below.
<litleRequest version="8.25" xmlns="http://www.litle.com/schema" id="requestId" numBatchRequests="1"> <authentication> <user>userName</user> <password>password</password> </authentication> <batchRequest id="batchId" numAccountUpdates="2" merchantId="testMerchant01"> <accountUpdate reportGroup"merchant01ReportGrpoup"> <orderId>Order Id</orderId> <card> <type>Card Type</type> <number>Card Number</number> <expDate>Card Expiration Date</expDate> </card> </accountUpdate> <accountUpdate reportGroup"merchant01ReportGrpoup"> <orderId>Order Id</orderId> <token> <litleToken>Token Number</litleToken> <expDate>Card Expiration Date</expDate> </token> </accountUpdate> </batchRequest> </litlerequest>
To learn more about Account Updater, consult the eCommerce Account Updater Implementation and Operations Guide. [link to pdf Vantiv_Account_Updater_Ops_Guide in Jive]
Match Back Option
If merchants decide they wish to have the updated card information returned to them, Vantiv offers the Match Back option. In this case, merchants can opt to receive updated information either in a Batch file deposited to the merchant’s FTP account, or in the XML transaction response messages. Once merchants update their systems with the correct payment information, they can resubmit the failed transaction. If, after receiving an update, merchants submit a transaction with the old information, Vantiv’s systems detect that merchants are still using the old payment data and update the transaction automatically prior to submitting it to the networks for authorization.
For additional information please refer to the Vantiv LitleXML Reference Guide.
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