Accpac Credit Card Processing
Back in 2006 Sage acquired credit card processor Verus which is now Sage Payment Solutions (SPS). Previously Accpac only had built-in Credit Card processing through its retail Point of Sale solutions, the previous ePOS solution and the current Sage RMS solution (only available in South Africa and Australia). Other Credit Card applications were left to the ISV community. However Credit Card processing is becoming much more prevalent in today’s transactions (along with debit cards, gift cards and other electronic payment mechanisms) and customers are looking for an integrated out of the box solution with a very tight integration. Plus there are newer compliance requirements that apply to anyone taking Credit Card payments. This has all combined to lead us to develop a Credit Card solution built into Accpac, using Sage Payment Services that adheres to the new stricter regulatory demands. This new Accpac to Sage Payment Solutions will be released mid-year (2011). The name of the product from SPS that Accpac will integrate with is called Sage Exchange. Below is a block diagram showing the main components where the Sage Software Product is Accpac.
In 2010 we had new much stricter rules for credit card processing come into effect called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). One key aspect of PCI DSS is that any application that handles credit card numbers must be PCI DSS certified. SPS has developed a new PCI DSS compliant service called Sage Exchange. The key point of this integration is that Sage SPS will be the only application that handles the credit card numbers, Accpac never touches them. Hence Accpac doesn’t need to be PCI DSS certified; only Sage Exchange does (which it has been). There are other compliance regulations that companies need to adhere to, but these handle the parts to do with the Credit Card processing software.
We will be introducing this module as part of Product Updates for both versions 5.6A and 6.0A. After you install this Product Update, you will be required to perform a Data Activation to add fields to some A/R and O/E tables to track the Credit Card transactions. The Credit Card module itself will be included with Accpac at no extra charge; but, you will need to sign up with Sage Payment Services and use their service.
Historically Accpac has always left credit card processing to ISV products such as Iciniti or Paytelligence. These products will continue to offer complimentary and extended functionality to the Accpac solution. For instance offering the ability to interface to non-Sage Credit Card processors.
Credit Card Number Handling
What does it mean that Accpac will never touch the credit card numbers? It means that whenever a Credit Card Number is required, Accpac will invoke a Sage Exchange screen that will swipe the Credit Card and that this number will never be handled by Accpac. Sage Exchange runs as a separate process under Windows, so the credit card number never even enters an Accpac processes memory space. Credit Card numbers can still be stored, but not by Accpac, they will be saved in the Sage Exchange Vault on a secure server in the SPS data center. We’ll go through this process as we walk through the steps people will go through to remember credit cards for customers and how to charge them when making orders.
Scenario 1: Having some credit card numbers on file for a customer. A/R Customers will now have a notebook tab for credit cards numbers. Rather than one, this will be a table control where you can enter as many credit card numbers as you like. However for each credit card number entered, a Sage Exchange screen will come up to enter and save the credit card number, the number will then be saved in the Sage Exchange Vault which has passed a PCI DSS certification audit for data security. Accpac will then display some identifying info on the card, but won’t have ever seen the credit card number which will be represented by a bunch of X’s and the last 4 digits of the Credit Card number. In Accpac, there is an identifier that is used to reference the card inside the SPS Vault. Then later when doing an order, Accpac can issue a command to SPS saying something like show a charge screen defaulting it to the credit card identified by this magic identifier.
Scenario 2: Charging a customer’s credit card in Order Entry. The rules of the Credit Card industry is that you can’t charge a Credit Card until you ship the product. But there is a mechanism to pre-authorize a transaction at Order time, so you know the Credit Card should process when you ship. So at Order Entry time you enter the Order as normal in Order Entry, then once done, you press the Pre-Authorize button and a Sage Exchange screen pops up that lets you enter the Credit Card info to perform the pre-authorization (which will decrement the Credit Card’s credit limit). Then when you are in Shipment Entry and shipping the Order, you can charge the Credit Card and this should go through since the credit limit was reserved by the pre-authorization. Now O/E will generate a pre-payment for the amount so you can track that it was paid in Accpac. If you Invoice as part of shipping then the pre-payment is associated with the O/E Invoice. If you Invoice later then the pre-payment isn’t associated with the O/E Invoice, but will be matched up once everything hits A/R (since A/R is responsible for collecting money anyway).
Scenario 3: The customer returns the item and wants a refund. You then go into A/R Refunds and when you enter the A/R refund document, you can also popup a Sage Exchange screen to credit the credit card. We do have a restriction that then if you want to undo this, you can’t reverse the refund, but have to just enter a new Order.
For any transactions that our integration doesn’t support you can also use the Sage Payment Services Virtual Terminal to enter any other types of transactions and then enter matching documents or G/L entries into Accpac. There is also a reporting portal where you can get all sorts of reports for all the transactions you’ve made through the service, as well as things that happen on the back end like updating your bank account.
In version 5.4A we added a feature that let you reconcile Bank deposits by detail. Then as part of the effort to simplify the Bank Reconciliation process, we removed this feature in 5.6A. This turned out to be very unpopular. As part of this Product Update and partly because this is an important feature to reconcile deposits that include Credit Card info as well as cleared checks, we are bringing this feature back.
Basically when you clear a deposit you will have a new deposit status that you can set to “Clear by Detail” and then get a pop-up screen where you can clear (or not) the individual deposit detail lines.
To keep thing simple we won’t be re-introducing some of the write-off functionality. If you clear a deposit with say bank error then that will clear the whole deposit and write off the amount. There will be no write-off by detail and there will be no pro-ration of write-off over detail lines.
This particular feature will only be in a Product Update for 6.0A. It will not be re-introduced to 5.6A.
To use this feature you will be required to sign up with Sage Payment Processing and to use this service. We won’t support using non-Sage processors. Sage Payment Services only operates in Canada and the U.S. so we will only support CAD and USD transactions. SPS screens are currently in English only, however we will ensure all the Accpac strings are translated, so you will get translated screens once SPS releases a version with French and Spanish support.
This feature will introduce built-in Credit Card processing to Accpac. Here you will have one stop shopping for all your Credit Card processing needs.
This Product Update will automate and integrate A/R and O/E processes to the Credit Card processor (SPS) to reduce data entry and hence increase productivity and reduce errors due to duplicate data entry.
The goal of Sage Exchange is to eventually go beyond just Credit Card processing and to handle all forms of payment processing including all sorts of Payment cards, as well as handling check processing. Then to add integrations to the A/P side of things. Then potentially if you have two companies that do business using and use Sage applications for their ERP then the A/P of one will be able to automatically pay the A/R of the other through Sage Exchange with no manual entry or intervention required.
Update 2011/03/01: Sage Exchange now supports French (Quebec) and Spanish in addition to English.