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Bankcard Deposit Reconciliation | Top 4 Difficulties Explained

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, November 08, 2011 @ 03:16 PM
Bankcard Deposit Reconciliation
Your merchant account is live and now you are attempting to reconcile the deposits made by your processor. In theory the deposited amount should match the amount on the settlement or batch report generated by your processing equipment or gateway. Anyone who has worked on reconciling the deposits knows that is seldom the case.

More often than not the settlement report that is run at the end of the day has absolutely no similarity to a deposit made into your bank account, ever! This can be overwhelmingly frustrating.

Bankcard Deposit Reconciliation figures
Why is it so difficult to reconcile?

The top 4 reasons are listed and addressed in detail below:
  • All the issuers settle at different times
  • PIN Debit and other cards settle separately
  • Your settlement time plays a role
  • Pricing also plays a role

Issuers settle at different times

The term issuers refers to the various associations of Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, etc. It has been a long standing issue that each, with the exception of Visa and Master Card, settle at different times. So if your business accepts all the above mentioned cards, deposits can vary from 24, 36 and 48 hours after the settlement or batch is run. Often times Discover and AMEX take longer to settle. So, for example, a deposit amount can contain settlements from the previous days batch (Visa and Master Card) in combination with the day before settlement for Discover and American Express.

PIN Debit and other cards settle separately

Adding additional complication is the fact that multiple card types (Diners cards, fleet cards, gasoline cards,etc) as well as PIN Debit use alternate networks to process and settle payment amounts. These additional networks also settle at different times. So the more cards types your accept the harder your bankcard deposit reconciliation is going to be.

Your settlement time plays a role

Your settlement time or batch time is the time you tell your processing equipment to issue a collection request for all the payments that have been authorized for the day. This can be a manual process or an automated process depending on your equipment and setup. Depending on when this process is run there can be additional complications added to the reconciliation process. For example, if you batch out your equipment before the end of your business day, you are effectively postponing payment collection for transactions that are completed after the batch is processed. This means that each days transactions are split into multiple deposits.

Pricing also plays a role

Certain pricing structures call for daily or monthly discount. With daily discount pricing the processing fees are deducted from the daily settlement or batched total. For merchants that have daily discount pricing, the deposited amount will never match the settlement or batch report as the deposited amount has fees deducted from it. Monthly discount does not operate like that as the fees are deducted separately from the deposited totals.

Would you like help tuning these variables in a effort to make your bankcard deposit reconciliation process easier?
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Tags: Bankcard Deposit Reconciliation, Account Tuning, Reconciling Settlements