Support Services

Using Account Updater

Overview

Forte's Account Updater service enables merchants to prevent service interruptions to their recurring transactions by automatically updating cardholder account information for Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit cards that may have been replaced or reported lost or stolen. The Account Updater service works by exchanging electronic credit card account updates through a batch FTP process with existing account databases that are maintained by the card associations. This keeps declines to a minimum and ensures a more stable cash flow for merchants.

Who Can Use Account Updater?

To use Forte's Account Updater service, a merchant must meet the following requirements:

  • Use Vantiv as their Forte Merchant Account Processor
  • Tokenize credit card payments using one of Forte's credit card transaction processing solutions
  • Be and remain qualified to participate in Visa, MasterCard, or Discover systems
  • Be and remain in compliance with all Card Association Operating Regulations
  • Be approved by Forte, Visa USA, Discover, and MasterCard
  • Have a valid business reason to conduct recurring transactions and receive updated account information, including but not limited to the following:
    • Subscription services
    • "Express" checkout services
    • Membership (club) services
    • Recurring payment services


How does Account Updater Work?

The following diagram illustrates how Forte's Account Updater service updates account information each month for participating merchants.

Merchant Requirements

While participating in Account Updater services, merchants must:

  • Submit inquiries only for accounts with which they have an ongoing customer relationship and the customer's authority to submit recurring payments.
  • Submit inquiries on their own behalf and not on the behalf of any other entity.
  • Update their customer account database within five business days of receiving changes and ensure the information is entered into their database completely and accurately.
  • Remove old/outdated account information and do not request authorizations on accounts for which Account Updater has returned a "Contact Cardholder" or "Closed" response.
  • Correct erroneous account information within five business days after receiving an error notification.


Implementing and Maintaining Account Updater

Forte's Responsibilities

As part of this process, Forte will

  • Update that merchant's File Specification.
  • Set a presentment date on the merchant record to specify the monthly date when inquiries are sent to the Issuer Master Database.
  • Set a negotiated per month and per item price that is dependent on relationship and transaction volume.
  • Update the last four digits of the card number and/or expiration date in both the settlement file and the token database

Merchant's Responsibilities

Prior to running Account Updater services for the first time, merchants should delete all old and/or unused card paymethod tokens from their systems so that these tokens do not incur charges when Account Updater services are run. Additionally, API merchants can designate certain tokens (i.e., non-default tokens) to not be included in Account Updater services by using the Suppress Account Updater flag. NOTE: For more information on this flag, see below.

Once Account Updater runs, participating merchants should take note of the E96 response code, which Account Updater uses to indicate a "closed" account in settlement files. Merchants should remove the tokens associated with these closed accounts from their systems or they will incur additional Account Updater charges again in subsequent months.

Configuring Token Lists

Account Updater works by comparing all of a merchant's Visa/Mastercard/Discover credit card paymethod tokens against the issuer master database and making updates accordingly. However, some merchants may have customers with multiple non-default paymethod tokens that are not linked to recurring payments. In that case, a merchant most likely would not want to pay to ensure the card information linked to the file is kept up-to-date each month. To prevent these unnecessary charges for that particular token, the merchant must set the Suppress Account Updater flag to true using either Forte's SOAP or REST API web services.


Excluding a Token Using SOAP

Merchants/partners using SOAP web services can exclude individual paymethod tokens from their batch files through the SuppressAccountUpdater flag in the PaymentMethod object of SOAP web services. SuppressAccountUpdater is a boolean field that, when set to true during CreatePaymethod events, ensures Forte will not run Account Updater services on that credit card's paymethod token. This flag defaults to true.


Excluding a Token via REST

Merchants/partners using REST web services can exclude paymethod tokens by passing the suppress_account_updater=true parameter in a POST (when creating a paymethod) or PUT (when updating an existing paymethod) request to the Paymethods endpoints. For more information on forming a valid REST request, see the latest version of the REST API DevDocs.


Creating Token Update Reports

Merchants who create REST-compatible string tokens (via REST API calls or Forte Checkout) can use a filtered GET request to the Paymethods endpoint of an Organization (i.e., ../v3/organizations/org_{organization_id}/paymethods) to create a list of all the paymethod tokens that were updated in a specified date range. This list not only displays which tokens were updated, but how each associated credit card account changed (au_code, au_description) (e.g., account number changed, account closed, expiration date changed, etc.) and when Account Updater made these changes (au_updated_date). For more information on these parameters, see the latest version of REST API DevDocs.

Requests to the specified endpoint must be filtered using the following required filter parameters:

  • start_au_updated_date
  • end_au_updated_date
  • paymethod_type=card

These filters ensure that Forte will only return card paymethod token results that updated within the specified date range. The following example provides a sample request and response.


Request

curl -X GET
     -H "Authorization: {{Authorization}}"
     -H "Accept: application/json"
     -H "X-Forte-Auth-Organization-Id: org_{{AuthOrganizationID}}"
     -H "Content-Type: application/json"
"https://api.forte.net/v3/organizations/org_300005/paymethods?filter=start_au_updated+eq+%272016-10-01%27+and+end_au_updated_date+eq+%272016-10-31%27&paymethod_type+eq+%27card%27"


Response

{
    "number_results": "3",
    "search_criteria": {
      "home_organization_id": "org_300005",
      "resource_specific": {
        "start_au_updated_date": "2016-10-01T00:00:00",
        "end_au_updated_date": "2016-10-31T00:00:00",
        "paymethod_type":"card",
      }
    },
    "results": [
      {
        "paymethod_token": "mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA",
        "organization_id": "org_300005",
        "location_id": "loc_115161",
        "customer_token": "cst_6cHpUhBG_02bIb4SXxOm5A",
        "label": "Visa Credit Card - 1111",
        "card": {
          "name_on_card": "Emmett Brown",
          "masked_account_number": "************1111",
          "expire_month": 12,
          "expire_year": 2015,
          "procurement_card": "false",
          "card_type": "visa",
          "suppress_account_updater":"false",
          "au_updated_date":"2016-10-15T00:00:00",
          "au_code":"new",
          "au_description":"New account number",
        },
        "links": {
          "transactions": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/transactions",
          "settlements": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/settlements",
          "schedules": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/schedules",
          "self": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA",
        }
        },
          "paymethod_token": "mth_OCuUNSnZiEOzGRf4-pu0_Q",
          "organization_id": "org_300005",
          "location_id": "loc_115161",
          "customer_token": "cst_bzGojNYBZ0e62xYaPWO-_A",
          "label": "Mastercard Work Card",
          "card": {
            "name_on_card": "Marty McFly",
            "masked_account_number": "************4567",
            "expire_month": 12,
            "expire_year": 2020,
            "procurement_card": "false",
            "card_type": "mast",
            "suppress_account_updater":"false",
            "au_updated_date":"2016-10-15T00:00:00",
            "au_code":"expiry",
            "au_description":"Expiration date updated"
          },
          "links": {
            "transactions": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_OCuUNSnZiEOzGRf4-pu0_Q/transactions",
            "settlements": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_OCuUNSnZiEOzGRf4-pu0_Q/settlements",
            "schedules": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_OCuUNSnZiEOzGRf4-pu0_Q/schedules",
            "self": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_OCuUNSnZiEOzGRf4-pu0_Q",
          }
          },
            "paymethod_token": "mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA",
            "organization_id": "org_300005",
            "location_id": "loc_115161",
            "customer_token": "cst_6cHpUhBG_02bIb4SXxOm5A",
            "label": "For Emergencies Only Visa",
            "card": {
              "name_on_card": "Marty McFly",
              "masked_account_number": "************4111",
              "expire_month": 05,
              "expire_year": 2020,
              "procurement_card": "false",
              "card_type": "visa",
              "suppress_account_updater":"false",
              "au_updated_date":"2016-10-15T00:00:00",
              "au_code":"closed",
              "au_description":"Account closed"
            },
            "links": {
              "transactions": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/transactions",
              "settlements": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/settlements",
              "schedules": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA/schedules",
              "self": "https://api.forte.net/v3/paymethods/mth_LCaCk2jdLUOfdrPxtsgjWA"
            }
          }
        ]
        "response": {
          "environment": "live",
          "response_desc": "Get Successful."
        },
        "links": {
          "self": "https://api.forte.net/v3/organizations/org_300005/paymethods?filter=start_au_updated+eq+%272016-10-01%27+and+end_au_updated_date+eq+%272016-10-31%27&paymethod_type+eq+%27card%27"
   }
    }

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