Gift and Stored Value Cards

Transaction Types

Gift and stored value card transactions are used differently than credit card transactions. For example, the transaction type for a Return (Type 09) can also be used to add additional value to a card. The monetary effects are also “real time,” meaning they take effect immediately because most gift card processors are host capture.

Transaction Qualifier: A specific Transaction Qualifier (Field 115) is required to identify the transactions as gift and stored value transactions. Every transaction must contain the appropriate value of (050) in the Transaction Qualifier field.

Transaction Type Description
Authorization Only (Type 01) Used when the authorized amount and the final transaction amount are different:

It places a lock on the entire account until the Prior Auth (Type 07) transaction is run with the final amount.
Close Card (Type 02) Enables the merchant to close or deactivate an activated gift card.
Redemption / Partial Redemption (Type 02) Decreases the value on the stored value account.

Your application must compare the amount being authorized with the actual amount authorized. The gift and stored value card issuer can authorize an amount equal to the balance remaining on the card. This amount may be less than the purchase amount (the original requested authorization amount) and your application must be able to accept an additional form of payment. This scenario is referred to as Partial Redemption.
Redemption (Cash Back, Cash Out / Unload) (Type 02) Used to unload the total remaining balance of the card. Depending on the program, it may or may not include returning cash back to the cardholder.
Tip (Type 02) Used for tip reporting, if applicable.
IVR Authorized Redemption (Type 07) Used when an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is used to secure approval on a redemption request.
Prior Auth / Unlock (Type 07) Used along with an Authorization Only (Type 01). It can be used to settle the approved amount or to “unlock” the authorized amount.
Card Activation (Type 09) Activates a card that has been “loaded” with a pre-set value.
Issue Card (Type 09) Loads the requested value and activates a blank card.
Reload / Recharge (Type 09) Used to add additional value to an existing account when value is granted by the merchant or purchased by the cardholder.
Return (Type 09) Used to add value to an existing account when merchandise is returned.
Void Redemption (Type 11) Used to reverse a submitted Redemption Request.
Local Batch Close (Type 13) End-of-day function used to close the local batch and move it to an archive file.
Local Batch Inquiry (Type 14) End-of-day function used to return the transaction counts in the local batch file. It can also be used to generate a report of the day’s transactions.
Void Activation / Deactivate (Type 17) Reverses a submitted activation request.
Void Card Issue (Type 17) Reverses a submitted Issue Card Request.
Void Reload, Recharge (Type 17) Reverses a Reload / Recharge (Type 09) action.
Void Return (Type 17) Reverses a Return Transaction (Type 09).
Balance Inquiry (Type 24) Used to inquire on the account balance of an existing account. This transaction is not captured in the batch file.

Implementation Considerations

Your POS application must take into account and address the following business environment criteria specific to the acceptance of gift and stored value cards:

  • Gift certificates offered and accepted as tender.

  • Gift certificates issued for refunds.

  • Gift certificates offered as a promotion.

  • Negotiated agreement (program) with electronic gift and stored value card processor.

Account Balance and Open-to-Buy (24)

Transaction Type 24 (Account Balance and Open-to-Buy) is used to obtain the current account balance or open-to-buy amount for an association pre-paid gift card or stored value card. Pre-paid gift cards are not supported by all TPPS. If the TPP does not support this transaction type, a TRANSACTION NOT SUPPORTED error is returned from the application.

We recommend supporting this transaction type.

Gift Card Account Numbers

  • Can vary in length and prefix range.

  • May or may not be created using the modular 10 digit routine.

  • May or may not have the same value embossed on the card as is contained on the magnetic stripe.

  • May or may not be created with an expiration date.

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If the card account number must be manually entered, you are required to enter an Expiration Date (API Field 0004). If the gift card does not include an expiration date, Elavon recommends that your application provide a date that is no more than 20 years from the current date.

Amounts

Multiple dollar amounts can be requested and received with gift and stored value transactions. Gift and stored value transaction requests can contain a transaction amount, cash back amount, and possibly even a tip amount.

Output responses received from the gift and stored value processor may contain the transaction amount (which may be different from the amount presented in the authorization request) and the remaining balance on the gift and stored value card. The POS application is responsible for presenting these amounts in a transaction request, and recognizing them in an output response.

Cash Back

Based on the gift and stored value card program and processor, you may be required to support a cash back amount on a gift and stored value card transaction. Typically, the cash back is used as an option to fully redeem a gift and stored value card.

The POS application can be designed to allow an end user or merchant to configure a maximum cash back amount. This typically requires that a gift card’s remaining balance be below a certain amount before it can be redeemed for cash.

Distribution

Gift and stored value service providers offer two ways for stored value cards to be distributed:

Pre-loaded Cards: Merchants order cards loaded with pre-set values. When a card is purchased, an Activation transaction is performed.

Blank Cards: Merchants order blank cards that have no associated value. When a card is purchased, an Issue Card transaction is performed for the monetary amount the customer wants on the card.

Settlement / End-of-Day

In most cases, settlement is not required for gift card transactions, as settlement is taken care of by the host-based transaction processor. The reporting and export files that are generated as part of the settlement process will include information on your gift card transactions.

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Fusebox moves transactions only if set to auto close. If set to forced closed, you have to to log in and settle, or send an API settlement to close the batch. FuseBox will eventually settle anything that sits for more than 7 days.

Settlement Types

Settlement Types include:

Auto Close: The system automatically closes an existing Fusebox batch for all transactions by Site ID at a specific time each day.

Force Close: Either the POS sends an API-based batch close message to Fusebox, or the user will login to the user interface to close a batch. For API-based settlement, batch inquiry transaction type (14) and batch close transaction type (13) API transactions are supported by Fusebox, Chain, Location, or Terminal.

Fusebox automatically creates a batch with all financial transactions sent from the POS and will accrue them into batches by site ID.

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If a batch remains open for 7 days, it is automatically closed in Fusebox.

POS Release from Web Flag Yes/No: The merchant can log into the Fusebox Batch and Transaction Management User Interface (BMUI) and determine if an additional step is required after the Batch Close process (either Auto Close or Force Close). If set to Yes, you will need to log in to the Fusebox application interface and release the batch from a pending status to a settled status. If set to No, then the closed batches are immediately queued for the next settlement processing job in Fusebox.

Receipt Considerations: Unlike credit card receipts, there are no industry standards for gift and stored value card receipts. Typically, the receipt is the same as if cash were presented.

Gift and stored value processors may, however, require that certain data elements be presented on the receipt for researching transaction inquiries from the merchant or cardholder. The POS application should allow the end user or merchant to configure the receipt’s appearance.

Specific data elements that could be included are:

  • Card Type

  • Truncated Account Number

  • Remaining Account Balance

  • System Trace Audit Number

Terminal ID

Your integration must allow merchants to configure a specific value for the Terminal ID for each payment type supported by your POS application.

Every transaction must contain the appropriate value in the Terminal ID (Field 109).

Processor Limitations

Many gift and stored value programs are run by processors whose host only supports the issuance, acceptance, and processing of gift and stored value programs for end users and merchants. It is important to have knowledge of, and understand, any processor limitations before moving forward with your development effort.

Once the processor is known, ensure that Elavon has a TPP interface available and that the transaction codes supported complement the needs of the end user or merchant and the gift and stored value program.