Common reasons for batch settlement errors

Modified on Wed, 9 Jun, 2021 at 1:31 PM


    Top 3 most common causes and solution to batch settlement errors are:

ONE: The system can't void or reverse a transaction.

This sometimes happens when you process a single transaction with multiple credit cards and one of the cards gets declined or the customer changes their mind midway through the process.  The symptom is that the amount of money in the credit card batch is HIGHER than the amount of money in RMS

Example: you have a transaction totaling $100 and the customer wants to pay $25, $35, and $40 on 3 different cards.  The $25 transaction processes fine, so does the $35 transaction, which happens to be a Visa gift card, and the last card for $40 declines - insufficient funds.

The customer decides to remove a product from the transaction to make it $80 instead and wants to try again.  When you back out of the tender window the POS will attempt to roll back all 3 of these transactions.  To do this we communicate that to the credit card company and as with all credit card processing, they approve or decline EVEN if it's a return/void/revert type transaction.

In this example when we attempt to revert the $35 charge the processor declines it.  Why?  We have no idea in most cases.  We believe it's often due to their automated fraud sensing systems.  What we do know is that gift cards and debit cards are more often affected by this. 

What should you do?

Since our system cannot force the credit card processor to do a refund to the card (we are at their mercy) the only option here is to call the credit card company and have them check to see if the charge did or did not go through.  If it did not go through then the warning from our system is a false positive and you can ignore it.  If the charge DID go through then you should have them void it in their systems.

TWO: The POS freezes or locks up during the original transaction and cannot revert

This happens when the credit card transaction goes through but before it can post back to the POS system something bad happens and the POS crashes.  This doesn't affect Cloud Retailer as much as it does Microsoft RMS (our legacy app).

When the software restarts it goes through an initialization process where it checks for these types of problems and attempts to "self heal" them.  If it sees that the transaction is not logged in the POS systems database then it may mean that it will attempt to revert the charge so you can try to run the sale again.  When it attempts this reversal it may get a decline message from the credit card processor.

At this point, it is the same issue and solution as mentioned in "ONE" above.

What should you do?

First, re-ring the customer and finish out the transaction - even if that means that you might be double charging them.  Make sure you get paid for the transaction and get the customer out the door.

Second, call your credit card processing company and verified that the transaction wasn't double charged.  If it was, have them void the transaction on their end so you're square with the customer.

THREE: There's a problem with a credit card that is in your batch

There are times when you charge a customer for a transaction, everything is kosher at that time - and a few hours later, they report the card lost or stolen.  When you go to settle the batch - this credit card can create a problem with settlements.  This is one example out of a few reasons why a specific card in a batch can create a settlement problem.  For the record, AMEX cards tend to cause the most issues for whatever reason.

What should you do?

Call your payment processor and ask them if they can see your recent attempt to batch credit cards and why the batch settlement is failing.  Take detailed notes on what they are saying is the problem.  Then, call us.  We'll likely need to log into your system and do a little surgery to manually remove that card from the batch so that things can proceed.

Still having issues?  Feel free to reach out to us!


Are these issues urgent?  Do I need to contact you RIGHT NOW?

Due to the nature of credit card transactions, it's important that they are dealt with quickly.  If you call your credit card processor before the end of the day they should be able to void the transactions if needed.  If you wait longer - it will get more challenging.  Typically within a 48 hour window, it's still relatively simple to resolve issues but by end of day is best.

If your batch is refusing to settle, we would suggest calling us soon - credit card approvals also have a shelf life of about 48 hours so it's important to get those kinds of issues resolved before they expire.


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