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Article : A day in the life of a contact centre card payment – what does happen to your money?


What Does Happen To Your Money?

Have you ever thought about what happens once you enter your debit or credit card details into an automated system or read them out to a contact centre agent? The answer isn’t easy but it is more straightforward than many would like you to believe, so stay with me as I take you through a day in the life of a payment.

Payment Method

There are a variety of payment methods available. These may include online purchases, Chip and PIN terminals, contactless or over the phone payments with an agent but whichever method used, the underlining process of authorising the card issuer to allocate your money against that transaction in order to pay for the product or service, is roughly the same. After all, you’re not actually handing over cash, and the merchant (the company or person you’re paying) isn’t actually getting paid; they’re really just requesting an authorisation code which assures them, but crucially does not guarantee, that their merchant account will be credited with the agreed amount.

Payment Service Provider

Once card details are taken they begin their journey towards a "paymentgateway" which is hosted by a Payment Service Provider (PSP), where merchants can utilise multiple payment methods from a single supplier, regardless of which company provides their merchant account. The card details are checked for errors. If these all pass, then the payment is forwarded on to the payment gateway, such as those provided by Mastercard, Barclaycard, First Data or Cardstream. These payment gateways have relationships with acquirers, which is another name for a Merchant Bank such as Streamline, Cardnet or Barclays Merchant Services (BMS). At this point the acquirer identifies the Merchant Account by way of the Merchant Identification Number (MID) which is the merchant’s account number.

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The next important step sees the acquirer recognising your card’s long 16 digit permanent account number (PAN) as one that it deals with i.e. from a card issuer that it recognises. At this point your card’s 16 digit PAN number, the merchant’s identification (MID) number and the transaction amount are sent via the card scheme to the card issuing company. The card scheme for example could be VISA, Mastercard, AMEX or a host of others that card issuers are able to work with. Once the card issuer, Barclaycard for example, has checked that there is enough credit or balance available to fulfil the purchase an authorisation code is generated, which reserves the money against the transaction and is passed back up the chain to the payment service provider (PSP) to notify the merchant or service of the transaction outcome. Ideally the transaction has been authorised but if it’s been unsuccessful then the merchant is also informed and the transaction declined. However, even with an accepted payment no actual money has been moved yet. The payment is still held by the acquirer and hasn’t gone any further.

Final Settlement and payment

The final step is settlement for the agreed transaction; this is carried out at midnight, every night. This is when all the acquirers settle authorised payments between themselves in one large transaction to avoid multiple payment fees with the banks. At the same time reconciliation information is issued. It is the duty of each merchant to negotiate a payment term with their acquirer. This is typically measured in days (not hours) and it is finally the actual movement of money from the acquirer to the merchant for the goods sold. Charities for example might be paid within one day whereas gambling operations and furniture merchants could have to wait 5 and 30 days respectively before they get their hands on your cash. Furniture is often delivered damaged and is subject to refunds and therefore the settlement term could be longer. On the whole, payment periods are determined by the merchant’s industry sector or standard industrial classification (SIC) code. Some merchants may even delay delivery of goods until settlement has been confirmed.

Failed Settlement

It is possible for an authorised transaction to fail settlement. In the event of a failed settlement, for example where a customer has reported their card lost or stolen within the same day as having made a purchase either in store, by phone or online, an authorisation code will have been generated but the payments made that day on that card will be stopped at settlement. This is to prevent fraudulent transactions from being processed after the card was reported lost or stolen. Encoded encourages its customers to do reconciliation against a settlement report and not to rely on the transaction log they receive – just in case a transaction failed to settle. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

As you can see it really is at least "a day in the life of a payment" if not longer. What may appear to be a simple case of an amount being taken from your card and a debit appearing on your statement the following month really involves far more than is at first evident.

Add to this the complications of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance and you soon realise why card accepting contact centres are wise to work with a Level 1 PCI DSS secure, automated payment service provider (PSP) to remain compliant and maintain maximum security.

About Encoded Ltd.:
Company LogoEncoded provides interactive voice response solutions and automated payment solutions. Encoded has invested in achieving the highest level of PCI DSS compliance. It has a Level 1 Attestation of Compliance (AOC) which applies to organisations that store, process and/or transmit more than 300,000 Visa transactions per year it also appears on the Visa Europe Merchant Agents List.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Use Of IVR

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, March 11, 2016

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2022 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

AMC Technology

DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
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IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.


CRM integration
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.


NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.


What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.


Easy Contact Center Traffic Analytics (Ec2Traffic)
Prilink Ec2Traffic provides network traffic analytics (NTA) for Internet, SIP Trunk and WebRTC traffic for on-premises and cloud Contact Centers.

Ec2Traffic analyzes network layer 2 to 4, RTP and SRTP packet loss and SIP protocols in real-time from the demarcation point or network edge, generating NTA metadata and requires little telemetry bandwidth.

Ec2Traffic provides:

- Year-round NTA metadata

- Daily CSV files upload to Customer business applications

- Capture packet to Wireshark for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

- detect traffic anomalies

- and more ....

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)

About us - in 60 seconds!

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