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Credit Card Step By Step - Part 3 - Recurring Payments

This "Step-by-Step" series is intended to provide you with an orderly progression of procedures and procedural considerations.

The actual details and expansive explanations are contained elsewhere in the Help pages and will be referred to by link to follow at the end of each page, where applicable.

This Step-by-Step page is dedicated to all aspects concerning Recurring Credit Card Payments.

When you have completed a full review of all the steps, you should be:

  • Able to post Recurring Credit Card Payments
  • Able to save credit card information
  • Able to read the payment details from the transaction
  • Familiar with running the reconcile

Posting A Recurring Credit Card Payments Schedule

You can set up a credit card payment schedule for a series of credit card debits to be made at regular intervals. The module will upload the details to Billing Tree, where the terms and details of the arrangement are stored, and the system will automatically debit the payer's card when each payment comes due.

A payment due on today's date will always have a lag time between that due date and when you see the transaction is posted in Collect!. This is because the Reconcile Credit Card History batch process submits the transaction on the due date and it will not be until the day after that you will receive the download approval or decline, as Billing Tree doesn't submit its own daily transactions to the banking institutions until its end of day.

tip.gif Recurring Credit Card Schedules are dependent on the Reconcile Credit Card History process being run daily as it is this batch process which downloads processed credit card payments which have become due and are now approved for posting.

Select the CREDIT CARD button on the Debtor screen in the lower right corner to access the Credit Card Payment Tasks menu.


Select the Credit Card button

If this is the first time you are accessing this screen, after signing into Collect!, you will be prompted to enter your Billing Tree Credit Card login credentials.


Billing Tree Credit Card PIN

Once you enter your Source Key and PIN, they stay in effect until you sign out of your current Collect! session.

tip.gif If you have entered your PIN into the Credit Card Setup screen, it will be stored and used each time you log into Collect!. You will not be prompted to enter a PIN. Only User Levels 1, 10 and 99 will see the prompt. Click OK to advance to the next screen if there are no changes.

When the Credit Card Payment Tasks menu is displayed, select the RECURRING PAYMENTS button.


Select the RECURRING PAYMENTS button

This will open the Recurring Credit Card Payments screen.


Recurring Credit Card Payments

Information from the Debtor Name and Address fields will be auto-filled for you, and you may input the rest of the indicated fields.

Some information in the popup will be auto-filled for you and the rest requires input. A field-by-field description of entry fields may be found on the Help page called Recurring Credit Card Payments.

Special points of note on this intake screen are:

a) A valid billing address for the card holder is required.

b) A valid 2-character state code is required.

c) A valid zip code is required. The transaction will be rejected if an attempt to put in a placeholder, non-valid zip is attempted in the absence of one which is known.

d) If you enabled convenience fees for this debtor's client, the check box will be accessible and require your endorsement to charge the convenience fee by checking the "Apply fee" box first, before you see the fee amount populate.

You can fill in the rest of the details. The "Save credit card details" box is presented both checked ON and read-only greyed out. This is because the module must save the information for a recurring schedule so that there is parity between Collect! and Billing Tree to match the transactions during Reconcile Credit Card History batch processes. What you may select, is whether you want to save this information in PCI compliant format to the Debtor, or to the Cosigner with the Class designation of CC Payer. Older versions of Collect! use "Other" as the Class.

tip.gif If you have enabled convenience fees for credit credit cards in general, and specifically for this client, you still will not see the usual Apply Fee and Fee Amount fields on the intake screen. These remain hidden because Credit Card legislation dictates that you may not charge a fee on more than the first transaction in a recurring schedule. The module will automatically apply your flat fee with your Setup designated transaction type on the first payment of every recurring schedule you process through the module.

Click the SUBMIT button to submit the payment schedule to the Credit Card Gateway on the Billing Tree site.


Ready to Submit Recurring Credit Card Payments Schedule

You will receive an acknowledgement like the following popup.


Credit Card Schedule Stored at Billing Tree

tip.gif You will not see the credit card payment processed and posted in the Transaction Tab on the account until (a) the next payment due date has arrived and (b) your office has submitted a Reconcile Credit Card History batch processing file for download of the payment confirmation.

As part of the automation, a Promise contact to keep track of the payment schedule is posted.


Promise Contact for Recurring Credit Card Payments

Also part of the automation, the module proactively schedules a Review now that is forward due-dated so that there is an implanted reminder of when the recurring schedule has ended and it may be time to do any of renegotiate your next level of payment plan, send a PIF release and close your file, etc.


Review Contact for Recurring Credit Card Payments

If you set up EFT Notices, the module will automatically schedule those letters to be sent in the requisite timelines designated in your module preference settings.


EFT Notices Setup

Click to view details.
EFT Notices and Reviews

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Save Credit Card Info

The "Save credit card info" switch is ON and read-only, greyed out. Your choices in a recurring intake screen with respect to this option are to save the card information to either "To Debtor" or "To Cosigner", but the info must be saved. The module requires the information so that future uploads/downloads between itself and Billing Tree have the requisite information to ensure transaction matching integrity for the course of the recurring payment schedule.

Insofar as the end- user is concerned, this information is stored in PCI compliant masked format to protect the card holder's privacy and card security in your system.

If the debtor is the CC Payer, then the details will be saved into the Detail Tab off the debtor main screen.

Click to view details.
Credit Card Info Saved to Debtor Detail

Detail 2 is the masked Credit Card Number.

Detail 3 is the Credit Card type.

Detail 4 is Billing Tree's unique Client Number for the stored debtor. *** IMPORTANT: Don't change this number!

tip.gif Reminder that the module does write to fields in the Debtor and Transaction Detail Tabs. If you currently utilize these fields for any site proprietary reason, contact Technical Services to go over your options to move data to new locales before rolling out usage of this module. It will overwrite fields in the designated tabs.

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Save Credit Card Info To Cosigner

Alternatively, you can save the card info to a Cosigner who either a responsible party on the debt or is a third party payer. A third party payer will auto-setup with the Cosigner Class to CC Payer. Older versions of Collect! use "Other" as the Class.


Name, Address and Credit Card Info Saved to Cosigner

User 3 is the masked Credit Card Number.

User 4 is the Credit Card type.

tip.gif You may designate only one CC Payer Cosigner and one Recurring Credit Card Schedule at a time, per debtor file.

When you save the credit card information to the Cosigner, the Client # is still stored in the Debtor Detail 4 field because the stored client is always the Debtor.


Client Number in Debtor Detail

Detail 4 is Billing Tree's unique Client Number for the stored client. *** IMPORTANT: Don't change this number!

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Use Cosigner For Recurring

When you select "To Cosigner" to store your payer information, Collect! switches ON "Use cosigner for recurring" in the Debtor Detail screen.


Use Cosigner for Recurring

Use Cosigner for Recurring is a switch Collect! uses to reconcile payments when you have used the Cosigner as the Payer. *** IMPORTANT: Leave this switch ON if the Payer is the Cosigner.

tip.gif You MUST leave this switch ON for the duration of your payment schedule so that module can verify the credit card information during Reconcile Credit Card History uploads/downloads.

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Transaction Details

Collect! does not evidence posting of any recurring credit card payments until you run Reconcile Credit Card History. To keep your files up-to-date with all card approvals/declines, you should run your batch process to reconcile at least once per business day.

The additional benefit to doing so is that if any debtors made external payments directly on the Billing Tree Gateway and not through your office and the module, is that these payments are also downloaded and posted to your system with the Reconcile process. For more detailed information, see RECONCILE CREDIT CARD HISTORY in these pages.

Debtors who wish to pay externally must use their Collect! file number as their unique account number when paying directly on the Billing Tree website.

There is specific information that you will see written to the Transaction Detail Tab when a recurring payment has been approved and posted into the system.

Click to view details.
Transaction Details

Credit card, unique tracking and confirmation details are stored as follows:

User 1 is the Authorization Code.

User 2 this field stores the Payer's name if the Payer is not the Debtor.

User 3 is the masked Credit Card Number.

User 6 displays "Processed" for successful submits.

User 7 is the unique Transaction Reference Number assigned to this credit card payment.

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Reconcile Credit Card History

The Reconcile Credit Card History is a batch process that queries Billing Tree for all credit card payments processed by them but which have not yet been posted in Collect!. The parameters include those transactions processed by Billing Tree since the Last Reconcile date stored in Collect!, new declines or chargebacks, and unreported external payments made by debtors directly at the Billing Tree Gateway (and provided they have used their Collect! file number as their unique identifier on the Gateway website).


Reconcile Credit Card History

tip.gif Debtors may enter their own payments directly at the Billing Tree website provided they are advised to use their Collect! file number as their unique identifier.


Credit Card Transactions Posted

To download the latest batch of credit card approved payments not yet posted in Collect!, you access through the menu path of " Daily Administration\ Payments and Charges\Reconcile Credit Card History".

tip.gif Users of CV11.6.2.7 and higher who are also licensed for the Scheduler Module now have an enhanced automation with the addition of the Reconcile process being added to the Scheduler Task list of options. You may run this process offline and unattended. Contact us at sales@collect.org for module pricing.

Once the process is invoked, as information is exchanged between Collect! and Billing Tree you will see a summary screen to let you know what actions were taken. If payments cannot be matched, i.e. if there was a file number entry error directly in the Gateway website OR some edit in Collect! subsequent to the arrangement entry was made causing a mismatch in data, the module saves all pertinent payment exception information to a file that you can use to manually post the transactions mismatches once you have located the accounts and matched the payments to the files.


Reconcile Credit Card History Results

If any unmatched transactions are returned, the module stores the information in a file in the "CV11\bin\BillingTree\CreditCard" folder as a CSV called Unmatched with a date/time stamp to make the name unique: i.e. Unmatched-150519-153321 is May 19th, 2015 created at HH:MM:SS of 15:33:21.

If a credit card is declined when an attempt is made by Billing Tree to process a recurring payment, then Collect! processes the payment as "Declined" and uses your settings from the Credit Card Setup options.


Credit Card Setup

As of version CV11.6.2.9, if a file number match is made during reconciliation but the transaction is skipped or errored out for any reason, you will now see a Noteline logged to the specific debtor account that the transaction belongs to identifying what was skipped or errored. The noteline will be prefixed "Failed Transaction:" and indicate that an "Error" occurred, as well as provide the Payment Date and amount. This is a transaction that would need to be manually reviewed for what caused the issue and corrective action would depend on what was ascertained as root cause (i.e. was the transaction manually modified between upload of transaction and download of process confirmation).

It also writes a detailed log into the path "CV11\bin\BillingTree\CreditCard\usaepay.txt".

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See Also

- Billing Tree Topics

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