Curing 5 Points of Anxiety and Pain in Parks and Rec Payments

Devin Meister

July 22, 2021

There’s a reason so many businesses save the first dollar they receive – getting paid is a glorious thing! More and more, that first transaction isn’t cash, but digital.

In addition to being harder to pin to the wall than a dollar bill (NFT maybe?) it’s a huge responsibility when you’re reaching digitally into customers’ wallets. That pressure can feel even greater when your role is to serve the public. Any issues become an anxiety-filled event until it’s resolved because it reflects directly on you. Here are several unfortunately common issues with digital payments and how you can work to resolve them.

1. Ghost in the Machine

Sometimes a transaction will process on a customer’s credit card, but not communicate back to the accounting system, resulting in “phantom” or duplicate transactions. That discrepancy puts things out of balance, and one thing everyone wants in their financial records is balance. The issue is often the result of external redirects that cause miscommunication and sessions to timeout before it’s completed.
The Solution: Keep it internal and eliminate external redirects. Using an embedded iFrame for web checkouts typically alleviates this issue.

2. It. Won’t. Take. My. Card.

The customer is standing there inserting their card, but it’s not reading it. The PinPads are declining transactions or unable to process cards and the customer knows they have funds available. It’s a recipe for frustration. Unfortunately, the hardware connections on older devices are less reliable and require VIC (executable software at the device).

The Solution: Upgrade to new card readers that don’t utilize VIC to reduce VIC’s footprint.

3. The System is Down … Or Is It?

There is no such thing as 100% uptime – anyone that says there is either lying or doesn’t really know. Sometimes the system or web connection is down or just unstable and unable to process payments. The real problem is that many providers are historically really, really, bad at communicating this information to users and those that need to know.

The Solution: Eliminating the need for an external gateway and partnering with a single reliable provider enables you to resolve issues with one call.

4. Devices Won’t Play Together

Sometimes card readers and peripherals just refuse to connect or act up and malfunction during the process. The problem is that executable software at each device isn’t properly configured, updated, or maintained. It’s a lot of work to keep updated and will be suspect with any change to the system.

The Solution: Solutions that rely on P2PE (Point-to-Point Encrypted) devices typically connect quicker and can significantly reduce if not eliminate much of the cause of this error. Importantly, they also provide an additional layer of security. P2PE devices encrypt the card data as soon as it is read and are continuously updated, keeping all Card PAN data secure.

5. I Can’t Find the Refund

The “check is in the mail” is not what patrons want to hear when they paid digitally. Being able to expediently deliver refunds and information about the status of the refund is critical to the modern user experience. The issue is caused by the gateway’s cumbersome reconciliation process that doesn’t communicate effectively with the other parties involved making visibility into the system nearly impossible.

The Solution: Picking a provider with a fully integrated reconciliation system streamlines the settlement and refund process, typically within 2-3 business days.

Good Night, Sleep Tight

The bottom line is that taking digital payments is a big responsibility. Beyond just a cash drawer, the implications of your decisions and processes can significantly impact you and your community. Make sure that you partner with reliable sources and keep your systems as up-to-date as possible. That will ensure that you build and keep the community’s trust and that everyone can rest easy.

Hear How Other Organizations Have Overcome Payment Issues