Authorize.Net recently sent out their Holiday Newsletter, and it contained a myriad of good information. The announcement we were pretty excited about here at the eCMS office was that they are expanding merchant support hours! Authorize.Net’s customer service is now open Monday-Friday 24 hours a day, and also Saturday 6am-2:30pm (PST). It is usually best for our merchants to call eCMS first so that we can offer you the top-notch and personal customer support which we have become known for, but unfortunately we cannot be in the office all the time. We know that many of our merchants conduct business during hours we are closed, and so we are very happy to know that these merchants will still be able to receive support from Authorize.Net due to these extended hours. Also, the announcement concluded with a preview of what’s coming in 2015: full 24/7 Authorize.Net support hours!
The Holiday Newsletter also contained an important reminder for all of our merchants who accept gift cards, including gift credit cards. These are stored-value cards with a Visa, Mastercard, etc. logo on them that can work pretty much anywhere, rather than at one specific store. Regardless of what kind of gift card it is, though, it will most likely not have any billing address on file from the issuing bank. Due to this fact, traditional Address Verification Service (AVS) settings will reject gift card transactions.
AVS protects both the merchant and cardholder by always requiring a billing address to be input at the time of the sale, for the purposes of checking it against the billing address that the card issuing bank has on file. Since this AVS protection is so important, it is very likely that your Authorize.Net account is programmed to reject any transactions that do not have the cardholder’s billing address available.
To ensure that gift credit card transactions will be able to go through successfully, please follow these steps within your Authorize.Net account:
1) Log into the merchant Interface at https://account.authorize.net
2) Click “Account” from the main toolbar.
3) Click “Address Verification Service” in the Security section.
4) Uncheck ONLY the checkbox labeled “U – The address information for the cardholder is unavailable”.
– Do not uncheck ALL of the AVS settings. They are still very important for protecting you and the cardholder during regular credit card transactions.
5) Click “Submit” or “Save”.
Now you will be prepared to accept gift cards and gift credit cards!
There is one important thing to be aware of when accepting these, though. Since there is no billing address available for AVS to check, you will always receive the Non-Qualified rate when processing these transactions. There is unfortunately nothing that can be done about this fact. It is still worth it to be able to accept them, of course, because of the higher customer traffic you will bring to your business, especially during the busy holiday season when gift card purchasing is much more frequent.
Please feel free to call our team here at eCMS with any questions about how to change your AVS settings, for further tips on avoiding the Non-Qualified rate, or regarding anything else! 888.277.3332