View How do HWeb Products Handle Credit Cards
How do HWeb Products Handle Credit Cards?
HWeb and Credit Card Processing
Note: This article discusses the ability HWeb products have to handle and process credit cards. This article does not instruct on how to use or configure credit cards in HWeb applications.
As an existing user of HWeb products, you may be considering using our applications to record and process credit card transactions. The ability to accept and process credit cards is possible with both the local HWeb Agent application and the online, HWeb Reservations application. Using the integrated credit card processing capability of HWeb products will streamline and simplify your revenue generation and tracking.
Few travelers, whether corporate or leisure, pay their travel expenses with cash. A valid credit card number is now a standard requirement in order to guarantee a hotel reservation, purchase an airline ticket, or guarantee private car or ground transportation service. HWeb products allow Hudson clients to accept all major credit cards, including: American Express, Discover, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, enRoute and JCB. Regardless of the travelers method of payment, you now have the opportunity to request or require a valid credit card number at the time that a reservation is entered into your system. The configurability of our applications allows you to further determine when a credit card number should be recorded:
By Service Type (ex. required for Limousines, but not shared van)
By Airport (ex: required for JFK airport, but not LGA)
By Direction (ex: required for arrivals and hourly, but not departures or point to point)
By Passenger Count (ex: required when reservation is for 10 or more passengers)
By Fare Value (ex: required when fare exceeds $95)
HWeb software will instantly identify an incorrectly entered or invalid credit card number. Once a reservation to be paid or guaranteed by credit card has been entered, you have three options as to when to actually charge a client credit card:
At the time of reservation entry (instantly - either deposit or full payment)
At any time prior to the date of travel using the pre-pay feature
At any time after the date of travel using the post-pay feature
Charge at time of entry ~ Depending upon the processing method being used (discussed below) it is possible to either authorize or charge the client card instantly, even while the client is still on the phone (if you desire) thereby eliminating the inconvenience of client call backs for declined or expired cards. After fare and service type information is calculated and after credit card information is entered, it is possible to use the mark paid feature (CTRL + M) from within a reservation to process the credit card payment. The reservations agent will see the transaction complete and know that the card has been authorized or charged. All credit card transaction history will be logged and visible on the payments tab of the reservation.
Charge prior to date of travel ~ If you routinely process credit cards the day, or couple of days, before travel, you can go into the HWeb Admin application, select credit card processing, and then select the section titled mark pre-paids. This allows you to specify a travel date, or range of travel dates, in the future and to gather up all reservations within that date range that are to be paid by credit card.The HWeb application will then group the credit cards into a batch and will process that batch, again recording successful payment information into the transaction history on the payments tab of each reservation.
Charge after travel completed ~ If you prefer to process credit cards after clients have traveled, you go into the HWeb Admin application, select credit card processing, and then select the section titled mark post-paids. You specify a travel date, or range of travel dates, that are in the past. The HWeb system will then group the credit cards together into a batch and will process that batch, recording successful payment information into the transaction history of each reservation.
The HWeb system will produce reports prior to submission of credit card transactions that will allow you to review, if desired, the cards and balances to be charged. Additional reports may be printed following the submission process that will reflect the level of success on each card processed. Declined cards are clearly noted and may be resubmitted or modified by accounting staff prior to resubmission.
Your Credit Card Processor
As a normal part of your business, you will have established a merchant checking account with a bank. This is where you will deposit funds collected from clients and will generate checks to pay vendors, suppliers and make payroll. You will also need to establish at least one credit card merchant account with a processor. This processor, is the organization that actually debits your clients credit cards and then deposits the funds into your merchant checking account. A credit card processor will charge you a fee for their service which typically is a percentage of each transaction. The fees charged by processors vary widely and should be reviewed thoroughly prior to establishing an account. Typically, lower fees are charged for users with higher credit card sales volume. Hudson Group products gather client credit card information from reservations in your system and send it to your credit card processor.
Multiple Credit Card Processors
It is increasingly common for Hudson clients to maintain multiple credit card merchant accounts. A Hudson client may find that one processor charges lower fees for a specific service type (example: charter bus services) while a different processor provides better fees for shared ride or limousine service. The Hudson Group local system software allows you to maintain multiple credit card processors. The application knows which processor to send credit card information to based upon the service being utilized. This multiple processor capability is also very convenient for Hudson clients considering a changeover from one processor to another on a specific date. By having both processors configured in the system before the cutover date, the transition can occur with extreme ease.
Online Credit Card Processors
A fairly new and progressive way of processing credit cards is via the use of an online processor. These organizations allow you to connect directly to the processor online, enter credit card information online and actually charge (or credit) client cards without the use of a third party application. You are able to review history and activity online and generate reports. Hudson developers have partnered with several quality online processors to provide clients with a quicker, easier, and simpler method of processing credit card transactions. For Hudson clients choosing to use an online processor, any and all agents in the office who have internet access from their workstations can pre-authorize or charge credit cards, directly from their desk. This is particularly useful in busy offices where multiple agents collect and authorize or charge credit cards. The result is nearly instantaneous authorizations and faster transfer of funds into the Hudson client merchant account.
Charging Online Reservations
Charging of online reservations to be paid by credit card is handled in one of two different ways, depending on whether you are using a third party application or an online processor:
Third Party ~ You will use the HWeb Utility or HWeb Bridge application to download and import reservations made on the Internet into your local office system. You will then use the pre-pay or post-pay feature of HWeb Admin to batch and process credit cards manually. The HWeb products will submit credit card information to your processor.
Online Processor ~ If you select online processing, then the HWeb reservations system (Internet-based reservation entry) will gather credit card information being entered into the online reservation and will pre-authorize or pre-charge the card at the instant the client completes their reservation. In the event of a decline or invalid credit card information, the client will not be allowed to complete the reservation. Therefore, when Hudson clients import reservations into their local system, only approved or authorized reservations are being imported, most of them with client credit cards that have already been charged.
Hudson Credit Card Support
The Hudson Group includes the credit card processing ability as part of its standard application. Generally, no updates or enhancements are needed to activate this useful and time saving module. An additional fee is added to the monthly licensing for any client wishing to activate the credit card processing module. This fee covers the setup, configuration and testing of the credit processing feature, as well as the increased routine technical assistance that is usually requested by our clients.
Where to Begin?
Once you have reviewed the information above we will gladly entertain your follow-up questions. If you decide to proceed with HWeb credit card processing, you will need to:
1. Determine whether you will use online processing or a processor of your own.
2. Establish an account with the processor (if not already done)
3. Contact Hudson Group Technical Support for configuration and testing.