Working with a Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a system that merchants use to accept credit and debit payments. The gateway creates a juncture between two important channels where money travels—one end of the gateway is the merchant, while the consumer’s bank awaits on the other side. The various elements that comprise a gateway are there to ensure the transaction’s security.

At CSG Forte, we develop payment processing platforms that operate as a robust gateway. Our custom payment processing solutions protect businesses across multiple industries while facilitating efficient transactions.

Payment Processors vs. Payment Gateways

A payment gateway exists in front of a payment processor, which is a financial institution or system that accepts the payments customers submit to your business. Your business’s payment processor may be a part of its merchant account, or you can outsource payment processing.

Financial information travels through the payment gateway before it reaches the payment processor. The gateway verifies and encrypts the information before it travels to your merchant account. It will deny fraudulent or invalid payment information. Payment gateways are especially important when processing e-commerce transactions because they offer powerful identification and verification capabilities.

Key Components of a Payment Gateway

A payment gateway should include these functionalities:

  • Payment data authentication: The gateway analyzes incoming data to verify its legitimacy.
  • Encryption: The gateway encrypts the customer’s payment information for processing.
  • Payment processor integration: The gateway allows the seamless transfer of encrypted financial data to the payment processor.
  • Financial settlement: The gateway also delivers encrypted data to the business’s bank for settlement.

Developing a payment gateway is a complex process. It must integrate numerous capabilities and security measures, including the following.

Infrastructure Development

The gateway’s infrastructure lays the groundwork for its immediate functionality and its longevity. The infrastructure begins with a server, which must be capable of withstanding your business’s traffic. Choosing a third-party gateway server can help you meet current needs and scale as traffic changes.

Data Security Measures

Your gateway must contain robust security measures, beginning with encryption protocols. Encryption is the process of converting financial data into a unique code that only devices on your server are authorized to decipher.

Tokenization is another form of data security. Under tokenization, the security system replaces each piece of financial data—such as a credit card number—with a discrete, secure token. Your gateway’s security system will be able to convert each token back into its original format.

Payment gateways also include fraud detection measures to protect your customers and reduce the risk of your business losing money to chargebacks. Your gateway will analyze data and user behavior to detect fraudulent purchases.

All gateway data security measures must meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) standards.

Integration With a Payment Processor

Your gateway must integrate with your current payment processor—or you must choose a processor compatible with your gateway. After selecting a processor, you can integrate it with your gateway by obtaining the processor’s Application Programming Interface (API) key. Your gateway will also need a separate API key that catalyzes the transfer of customer data.

Compliance and Regulatory Considerations

As you integrate payment gateways, it’s important to remain aware of certain regulatory considerations. Follow global, national and regional laws along with PCI DSS standards.

PCI DSS establishes 12 security standards for merchants to follow when collecting credit card or debit card information. Compliance requires diligence and constant effort, as it is ongoing and varies with your business’s size. PCI DSS compliance is key when reducing risks derived from cyber threats that can impact your company’s financials and reputation.

The following steps are part of PCI DSS requirements:

  1. Use and maintain a firewall
  2. Protect stored cardholder data
  3. Update default passwords and security measures
  4. Use and update antivirus software
  5. Encrypt cardholder data when transmitting it
  6. Keep data on a need-to-use basis
  7. Develop and implement security processes and systems
  8. Routinely check security systems
  9. Create and maintain an information security policy
  10. Implement user IDs for everyone with computer access
  11. Monitor and restrict access to cardholder data
  12. Track who accesses cardholder data and networks

References to PCI DSS are included as a general guide. Complying with PCI DSS would require due diligence and analysis about your scope and specific requirements. Find additional information here.

The Benefits of Using a Payment Gateway

A payment gateway can offer numerous advantages for your business, especially when you partner with an experienced developer. Core advantages include:

  • Improved user experience: Payment gateways provide security alongside seamless payments. Consumers will appreciate the ease of using your online store and peace of mind knowing their data is safe.
  • Bolstered security: A payment gateway offers the strong security that comes with fraud detection and data encryption or tokenization. Your customers’ data will remain secure, and your business will mitigate chargebacks.
  • Expedited payment processing: Payment gateways automate processes for peak efficiency. Customers will enjoy faster checkouts while your business receives its revenue sooner.
  • Enhanced scalability: Implementing a payment gateway will back your business with the security infrastructure it needs to expand into new territories domestically and abroad.

CSG Forte’s Payment Gateway Solution

At CSG Forte, we offer a versatile payment system that facilitates the efficient, secure transfer of financial data from your customer to your merchant account. Our system features a payment gateway with the full range of features your business needs to maximize data security. It offers:

  • Robust security protocols
  • Seamless integration with leading payment processors
  • Compliance assurance
  • User-friendly dashboard and reporting

Why Choose CSG Forte Over Building Your Own Payment Gateway?

Our experience and diligence set us apart as a reliable source of payment gateway solutions. We distinguish ourselves through our:

  • Time and resource efficiency
  • Proven track record and expertise
  • Ongoing support and maintenance
  • Competitive pricing models

At CSG Forte, we have a broad range of experience tailoring payment gateways to businesses’ unique needs. We can develop a gateway that integrates with your processes and facilitates a smooth customer experience. Feel free to contact us online for more on our payment gateway solutions.

Understanding Multichannel Payments

Today, customers use multiple channels to engage, transact, and pay bills. A McKinsey study found that 82% of Americans use digital payments. These digital payments encompass browser-based or in-app payments, in-store checkouts using mobile devices or QR codes, and person-to-person payments (P2Ps).

Customers appreciate the convenience and ability to make payments in multiple ways when transacting. They also expect seamless, personalized experiences from your business. Providing multichannel payment options is one way you can meet their needs.

What Are Multichannel Payments?

Multichannel payment processing refers to the ability to accept customer payments across various channels. It offers your customers the freedom and flexibility to make payments using their preferred methods and platforms, whether that means paying in-store, on a mobile app, over the phone, or online. Multichannel payments provide your customers with a consistent, streamlined experience while making things easy for you to manage with one synergized vendor and solution.

Efficient multichannel payment processing also makes it easy to track customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history across various channels. With that info, you can deliver better customer service, marketing, and overall experiences.

How Do Multichannel Payments Work?

Multichannel payments offer a convenient experience no matter the path your customers choose. A customer may use your services or purchase your products and want to transact in a unique way. With a multichannel payment solution, you can make the switch between channels seamless.

Your customers can pay on their preferred channel—email, text, interactive voice response (IVR) or via a live agent—and switch at any point. You can simplify the payment process for your customers and merchants while keeping interactions personalized.

Multichannel payments link all your touchpoints through an integrated platform, making payments highly personalized and focused on your customer’s preferences.

What Are Multichannel Payment Processing Channels?

Typical multichannel payment processing channels include phone, in-person, email, and text.

1. Phone Payments

Pay-by-phone IVR solutions enable you to accept payments 24/7. Leverage innovative speech-recognition and touch-tone technology to empower customers to make rapid payments using self-service capabilities.

Your customers can connect to your system at any time from any phone, following prompts to complete transactions. IVR payment methods provide frictionless payments and shorten your collection time. The self-service functionality will free your staff to focus on more urgent matters.

2. In-Person Payments

Speed up in-person payment processing with advanced contactless payment technology that makes point-of-sale (POS) purchases a breeze. Digital bill payment methods will continue to grow, but in-person transactions are still the preferred pay point for many consumers.

A contactless system enhances the offline payment experience, helping customers pay bills securely and efficiently while on the go. You can opt to integrate award-winning POS solutions with your current system or use the enterprise-grade POS terminals as standalone devices.

3. Email Payments

Leverage email payment link technology to streamline billing for your customers. To accept payments through this channel, you need a trusted payment services provider (PSP) to set up a secure system that enables you to send customers a safe email link. This email link will take customers to an encrypted hosted page or NanoSite where they can make payments online. The link will also work when sent via text or through social media.

You can accept email payments even if your business doesn’t have a website. Email payment processing is versatile and quick. It removes barriers to sale and reduces late payments by supporting them via multiple methods, including:

  • E-wallets
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards

4. Text Payments

Pay-by-text capabilities enable customers to make payments via SMS and MMS. When a customer initiates a bill payment, they’ll receive a message with a secure link. This encrypted link will take the customer to a secure gateway or NanoSite to complete the transaction, offering a seamless payment solution.

Text payments are opt-in services that help customers conveniently pay when you message them, reducing your past-due payments.

What Is a Multichannel Payment Platform?

A multichannel payment platform helps you manage multiple types of payments in one place. CSG Forte Engage provides secure, frictionless payment methods, allowing your customers to pay using their preferred channel anytime. This integrated platform offers:

  • Multichannel payments: Give your customers the power to pay at multiple touchpoints and via email, text, IVR, or live agents—with the option to switch throughout the payment process seamlessly. Enable customers to select payment options like autopay for recurring fees or installment payments.
  • Secure payment options: The live agent assist feature allows your contact center staff to create online invoices and send them directly to customers. With cutting-edge NanoSite technology, clients can securely complete transactions without sharing banking details or credit card information across multiple channels. This approach reduces the risk of sensitive information leaking.
  • Customized payment journeys: Rapidly deploy personalized payment journeys for your customers. Branded payment journeys can be activated for one-time, recurring, or future-date payments. You can send invoices with payment prompts, confirmations, or late payment notifications to a customer’s channel of choice.

The Benefits of Our Multichannel Payment Platform

Innovative multichannel payments offer your business several advantages. When you leverage our platform for multichannel payments, you can benefit from:

  • Fast implementation: Advanced solutions enable low-to-no coding, meaning integration takes days, not months.
  • Convenient automation: Multichannel payments reduce repetitive tasks through automation while still providing highly personalized customer experiences.
  • Secure transactions: Custom payment pages or NanoSites allow customers to transact with your business quickly and securely, reducing late payments.
  • High adoption rates: Multichannel payments increase self-service capabilities and encourage the adoption of digital payments, minimizing the costs associated with some offline payments.
  • Seamless testing: Your business can leverage multichannel payment capabilities to split-test elements of the payment journey. See what best works for your customers and use it to enhance their experience.

Partner With CSG Forte for Secure Multichannel Payments

At CSG Forte, we leverage decades of experience to help your business scale payments and grow with smart, unified payment solutions. Our payment platform is designed to meet your ever-changing needs and customer preferences.

Want to learn more about how we can help you simplify and scale your multichannel payment capabilities? Get started by connecting with our team online.

Optimize the Payment Journey for Your Customers

Customer payment experiences have evolved in recent years. Digital payments are leading the pack, providing multiple ways for users to transact with businesses. By optimizing the payment journey for your customers, you can enhance their experiences and reduce late payments.

What Is the Payment Journey?

The payment journey is the path customers take when buying a product or service from your organization. The journey extends from the consumer engaging with your company about what they want to the steps they take to pay for the solutions you deliver. You want billing, invoicing, and transactions to be hassle-free from start to finish, removing barriers and making payments seamless and personalized for your customers and merchants.

The goal of a streamlined payment journey is to replace any friction in the process with solutions that provide convenience and choice.

How to Improve the Payment Journey

Enhancing the payment journey leads to better user experiences and increased customer satisfaction. A happy customer is likely to return and advocate for your brand. Here are four ways you can improve the payment journey.

1. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

You can optimize the payment journey and meet customers where they are by allowing multiple payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets, or bank transfers. The more options you provide, the fewer reasons customers will have to postpone payment.

2. Provide Recurring Billing Options

Subscription or recurring billing provides:

  • Consistent revenue: Recurring billing gives your business a predictable revenue stream. Regular payments increase business stability and cash flow. Using systems like CSG Forte Account Updater automatically updates account info so you rarely miss payments and can focus on steady revenue recognition.
  • Convenience for customers: Subscription services streamline payment for customers. Your customers won’t have to complete payments manually, saving them time and effort. Convenience enhances the customer experience and increases brand loyalty.
  • Efficient operations: Recurring billing reduces your team’s administrative workload. Instead of manual interventions, you get automated solutions that optimize your processes and enable you to focus on more impactful tasks.

Securely gathering and storing sensitive information is key to benefit from recurring billing. Using an encrypted platform will help you manage data effectively and make cancellation easy for customers.

3. Offer Multiple Channels to Pay

To improve your payment journey, you must allow customers to select their preferred channels to pay. The seamless transition between channels makes for frictionless payments. It also lets customers choose how they interact with your business. A multichannel payment platform will allow your customers and merchants to use email, phone, in-person, text, or live agent channels to pay bills and complete transactions.

4. Let Customers Buy Now and Pay Later

Merchants are increasingly adopting buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) models. Offering the option to pay in installments may:

  • Improve conversion rates: BNPL lets your customers bypass full upfront costs. Smaller installment payments lower the financial barrier to transactions, leaving customers more likely to make impulse purchases that raise your conversion rates.
  • Attract new customers: The ability to pay in installments can make purchasing an easier choice for new customers who might be put off by prices initially. BNPL also offers an alternative method to credit cards, which may be a plus for some consumers.
  • Increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases: Customers with a positive experience of your BNPL services are more likely to make repeat purchases and advocate for your business, driving word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Reduce cart abandonment: Customers abandoning their carts is a serious problem e-commerce businesses face. BNPL alleviates cart abandonment due to financial barriers, giving shoppers more time to complete their purchases.

The Benefits of Frictionless Payments

An integrated payment system is an investment in your business. Modern customers expect seamless payment experiences, and they might turn to a competitor if they find paying bills or completing transactions out of sync with their preferences.

A seamless payment journey and system has several benefits, including:

  • Saving your business money and time in the long run
  • Increasing customer loyalty and confidence
  • Reducing risks associated with payments
  • Maximizing the probability of repeat purchases and on-time payments
  • Offering flexibility in terms of payment channels
  • Enhancing your payment security features
  • Giving your business a competitive edge in the market

How CSG Forte Will Help You

CSG Forte has decades of experience helping businesses like yours optimize the payment journey. We know how to do payments right, and we’ll come alongside your business to streamline the process for your customers.

Take advantage of multichannel payments, customized journeys and secure solutions to help your business succeed.

Multichannel Payments

CSG Forte Engage enables your customers to choose their preferred channels during the payment journey. Customers can pay by text, phone, email or through a live agent and change their method seamlessly as needed.

Customized Payment Journeys

Forte Engage assists your business in deploying branded customer payment journeys for recurring, future-dated and one-time payments.

You can easily send customers invoices with confirmations, late notifications and payment-due prompts via their preferred channels. These highly personalized interactions can help reduce outstanding amounts that are past due.

Secure Payments

Through the call center payment processing feature of the Forte Engage solution, live agents can rapidly generate personalized invoices and send them to customers online.

The agents leverage innovative NanoSite technology to complete transactions without your customers needing to provide their credit card or bank account info. These secure NanoSites mean you won’t have to worry about data leaking. You’ll also benefit from a solution that offers prompt payments—a win-win.

Enhance Your Payment Customer Experience With CSG Forte

At CSG Forte, we partner with businesses to help them scale while offering superior customer experiences. We use an intuitive, unified payment platform that adapts to your evolving needs. Our payment solutions will reduce operational costs, simplify processes and help your business build a solid reputation for secure transactions.

With our decades of experience, award-winning technology and vast network of partners, you can count on us to streamline your payment journeys and enhance your interactions with customers.

Contact our team for frictionless payments, optimized journeys and first-rate customer experiences.

Transact With Customers Using Email Payments

When you want to grow your business and streamline operations, eliminating barriers in the payment experience is key. That means opening new and convenient avenues for payment. Email payments are an option that makes purchases easy for customers while relieving your team of the labor-intensive admin of manual invoicing.

What Is an Email Payment Link?

An email payment link is a clickable button or text-based link embedded in an email you send to customers. The link directs your customers to a secure payment page or portal hosted by a trusted payment service provider (PSP).

A payment email typically contains order details or an invoice, a personalized message and a link to make the payment. Once the user opens the payment link and navigates to the secure page, they can pay using their preferred method.

Sending email payment links is ideal if you want to accept payments from anywhere, even when you don’t have a point-of-sale device on hand.

Can Your Business Benefit From Payment Notifications Through Email?

Any business can benefit from invoicing customers using email payment links—including small businesses. Email links are especially convenient for e-commerce stores and wholesalers that accept frequent B2B payments. Email is often the preferred method of communication between businesses, so leveraging this platform is ideal for prompt payment.

Other businesses that can benefit from leveraging email technology to request payments include:

  • Legal offices
  • Restaurants
  • Taxi services
  • Gyms
  • Hairdressers
  • Salons

You can set expiration dates and hold funds for a future date, so email links are suitable for reservations. You don’t even need a website to offer payment via email, making it a truly accessible option for any business.

What Are the Advantages of the Email Payment Method?

Sending links to personalized payment pages via email is beneficial for multiple reasons:

  • Optimizing workflow: Email payments remove manual processes and errors by instantly generating and sending customer invoices. You can request payment rapidly and focus your energy on other aspects of business.
  • Improving customer experience (CX): Email payment links enhance CX through customized messaging and ease of use. Customers also appreciate having multiple payment options from their preferred device. Your customers can access links via their PC or smartphone, navigate to the secure page, and choose whether to pay by credit card, bank transfer or digital wallet.
  • Building trust and loyalty: By staying up to date with the latest technologies, enhancing payment security features and offering clients the gift of choice, you can build customer loyalty and trust.
  • Customizing payment journeys: With email links, you can quickly deploy personalized and branded payment journeys for recurring, future-dated or one-time payments. You can leverage your payments platform to send custom invoices with confirmations, late notifications and payment reminders directly to your customers’ inboxes.
  • Reducing operational costs: With email payment links, you don’t need point of sale (POS) systems—and you don’t need to pay the costs associated with them.
  • Protecting sensitive data: By using a secure payment platform, like CSG Forte Engage, you are safeguarding customer data and protecting against data leaks.
  • Supporting multiple methods: Your business is not restricted to a specific payment method. Email payment links support credit and debit cards, ACH payments and digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
  • Increasing conversion rates: Email links make paying simple for customers. That convenience translates to a boost in conversion rates, overall revenue and customer satisfaction.

Choosing a Trusted Payment Email Provider

Many payment service providers (PSPs) offer payment link services enabling you to request payment via email, text or social media. Not all service providers are equal in the level of service, security and personalization they offer your business. You need a partner that comes alongside you to enhance your customer payment experience and increase on-time payments.

Here are a few questions to keep in mind to ensure you select a trusted provider:

  • Can you support multiple payment methods?
  • Can you use the payment link feature even if you don’t have a website?
  • Can you customize your payment landing page with your branding and colors?
  • Can you manually capture and adjust payments at a future date?
  • Is the PSP Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant?
  • Is the PSP team willing to help you and answer questions?

Leverage the Benefits of Email Payments With CSG Forte

CSG Forte is a trusted partner with decades of experience. You and your customers can benefit from frictionless payment processes through our CSG Forte Engage solution.

Our platform supports customized, secure, flexible payments through multiple channels, so you can give customers a first-rate experience.

Streamline your payment processes by connecting with our team today.

Payment Experience

Customers today have more options than ever before when making payments. They can use cash, paper checks, credit cards or digital payment methods. One way to set your company apart is to provide an exceptional payment experience.

What Is a Payment Experience?

The payment experience is part of the customer’s journey. It refers to the process of paying for a purchase and the ease or difficulty a customer experiences while paying.

Payment experience consists of several components:

  • Payment methods your company accepts
  • Option of storing payment preferences and information for future purchases
  • Ability to automate payments
  • Security and trustworthiness of payments
  • Notifying users of due dates and completed payments

Why Optimize the Payment Experience?

You’re shopping online, adding products to your cart. You hit checkout and are taken to the screen where you put in your payment information and other details.

You scroll to the list of payment options, looking for the one that suits you best. The merchant only accepts credit card payments, but you’ve left your physical wallet in another room. You have your payment information stored on your digital wallet, but that’s not an option now.

You could walk into the other room and grab your credit card. But, if you’re like many people, you probably just abandon your cart, figuring you’ll finish your purchase later.

Similar situations happen frequently, so it’s critical for merchants to create a frictionless payment experience. Other reasons to optimize the payment experience include:

  • Increased security and trust: Today’s shoppers are usually wary about who they give their payment information to. Security and trust are essential components of the payment experience. Your online store should explain security measures in place to keep that information secret.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: If people look back on their shopping experience and remember having to scramble to find a card or having difficulty inputting their information, they will be less satisfied with their overall experience. If they have a smooth payment experience, they’ll feel happier overall and more likely to make another future purchase.
  • Fewer late payments or abandoned carts: People abandon their carts or make payments late when it’s difficult to pay. Accepting automatic payments and storing payment information for repeat shopping trips makes people more likely to pay on time or complete their purchases.
  • Faster payments: A smooth payment experience is good news for merchants, as it can mean your company receives payments for products or services faster.
  • More repeat customers: The more payment methods your company accepts and the more streamlined the checkout process is, the more likely your customers will be to return and reuse your services.

How to Create a Seamless Payment Experience

Follow these steps to create a seamless payment experience for your customers:

  • Accept multiple payment options: Don’t turn customers away at the door. Accept the payment options your customers are looking for.
  • Allow for autopay: Give customers the option of setting it and forgetting it, particularly for recurring charges or bills due each month. It’s more convenient and can reduce late or completely missed payments.
  • Enable customer choice: Credit cards can expire, and accounts can get closed. A card may be near its limit one month but not the next. Give your customers the option of switching between payment methods as needed.
  • Multichannel payment options: Choose a payment solution that lets you accept multiple forms of payment across channels. CSG Forte Engage accepts payments through SMS, phone, online and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to ensure ease of service for every user.

Payment Experience Case Studies

Companies that have switched to an all-in-one payment solution have seen the benefit of a frictionless payment experience. For example:

  • After adopting text and email messaging for past-due payments, a financial firm saw an $8 million boost in revenue.
  • After adding digital payment options, a security firm saw an 85% drop in payment arrears in one month.

Choose CSG Forte

Modernize the payment experience for every customer with CSG Forte Engage, our payer engagement platform. A seamless payment experience will encourage your customers to shop more often and make an impeccable first impression on new users. Contact us to streamline your payment processes today.

What Is a Payment Link?

Today, every business needs to offer a variety of payment options for their products, services and invoices. Furthermore, these offerings need to be fast and secure to meet your customers’ ever-expanding needs. Personalized payment links meet all of the above requirements, and CSG Forte’s payer engagement platform also integrates seamlessly into your existing website setup, messaging platforms and social accounts.

A secure payment link allows you to expedite payments through an easily accessible code or link. Often, these are in the form of “buy now” or “pay now” buttons, QR codes and in-text links. When a customer follows the link, they bypass all the searching, add-to-cart and information-adding steps. Instead, they go straight to a customized invoice that is ready for payment, shortening the conversion process and increasing the chances of them making payment.

Benefits of Using Payment Links

Setting up a payment link can take just minutes—from there, you have an easy-to-use, secure link that you can share with your customer on their preferred communication channel.  A payment link can:

  • Offer a range of payment options: Almost half of all online payments are made through a mobile wallet. An additional 30% of payments use debit or credit cards. Payment links ensure you can work with the digital payment methods your customers prefer.
  • Provide expedited payment capability: Payment links let people complete purchases in as little as one click. That means fewer late payments.
  • Customize the sales experience: Your normal sales platform may be one-size-fits-all, but your payment links can be as unique as the people viewing them. Customize the URL of your payment links with your branding and link customers to a personalized invoice.

Where to Use Payment Links

Perhaps the top benefit of payment links is that you can use them anywhere, online and in person. Consider how a payment link can affect conversions from these avenues:

  • Emails: Getting your customers to open your email is half the battle—the other half is keeping them interested long enough to take action. A payment link at the beginning of your email that takes them straight to a personalized invoice ensures you’re making the payment experience quick and convenient.
  • Text messages: SMS messages are a fast-paced way to streamline reaching potential buyers. Sending a text message requests immediate action, and when you pitch it just right, your customers will be eager to reply.
  • Phone calls: Whether you make calls through a call center or by using interactive voice response (IVR), you can opt to send callers a link for payment via email or text message.
  • In-person connections: New technologies have more and more people paying for services online, even when they visit a physical location. Pay links and generated QR codes allow anyone to make a payment from their mobile device right in front of you, whether you’re in-store, at a pop-up event or even on a home sales call.

Use Cases

From making payments on a product to resolving billing concerns, every business in any industry can find uses for payment links in front-end and back-end operations. At CSG Forte, many of our clients use this versatile tool to:

  • Collect mobile, online and card payments in person
  • Send invoices and collect bill payments
  • Target multiple consumer demographics simultaneously
  • Set up donation accounts or host fundraisers

Why Should You Choose CSG Forte Engage?

When you create payment links for invoicing, online checkouts and donations, you essentially establish a new website that integrates with your existing technology. Your clients’ payment information goes through this secure nanosite and communicates the sales with your platform immediately, simplifying the process for both you and your customers. CSG Forte’s low-code platform allows you to:

  • Automate payments and collections: After customers use your payer engagement platform once, they’ll be able to make automatic payments on future purchases and bills. A faster, easier payment cycle means more business for you and greater satisfaction for your customers.
  • Switch payment channels as needed: Users can choose which channel they’d like to use to make a payment, whether that’s over the phone with your support or completely online. They can also switch between channels throughout the process as their needs evolve.
  • Maintain security and flexibility: Customers can make full payments today or schedule recurring payments for the future based on their preferences. Whenever they pay, the nanosite will maintain their privacy—our site is fully PCI compliant—to a degree that even your staff does not have access to payment information.
  • Orchestrate the payment journey: A/B testing is an excellent method of discovering new ways to market to a range of target audiences. Our platform’s customization options allow you to offer different sites to different people and see which ones yield the best results.
  • Provide fast, on-brand service: Even when you work with CSG Forte’s payer engagement platform, everything is branded for your business. Set up your system in weeks or even days and start collecting immediate, automatic payments using payment links of your own creation.

Take Control of Your Payments With CSG Forte

CSG Forte strives to be your partner in all business payments. Our solutions are award-winning, and we know how to process all types of payments with professionalism and safety—our team has handled billions of dollars for the world’s leading merchants. The CSG platform offers a holistic, customizable approach to everyday payments, and our payment link services are just the next step in making your business a leader in your industry.

Get started with a demo from our experts or take the plunge and open an account with us today. Our sales team will answer all your questions and guide you through everything you need to know.

What Are NSF Payments?

Handling nonsufficient funds (NSF) payments accurately and efficiently helps businesses protect themselves from financial losses by minimizing the impact of unpaid transactions. Promptly addressing NSF payments through clear communication, compliant follow-up procedures and timely resolution enables recipients to recover funds and prevent further losses. Streamlined handling can also help businesses maintain strong customer relationships, reducing the likelihood of service disruptions due to incomplete payment.

At CSG Forte, our recovery solutions can help equip your business to handle NSF situations effectively. Our re-presentment options enable you to recover the funds for each NSF payment at no charge. More importantly, these automated solutions save significant time and resources, allowing you to focus more on the responsibilities that matter most for your business.

What Is an NSF Payment?

An NSF payment is a returned check or Automated Clearing House (ACH) network payment that was unable to be completed due to nonsufficient funds. This means the bank has refused to honor the payment because there isn’t enough money in the account to cover it. These are often referred to as bad or bounced checks.

When the recipient tries to take payment, the bank will return it due to insufficient funds in the account. This situation can result in fees for both the payer and the recipient trying to collect the funds.

The Differences Between Overdraft and NSF

Anyone who has tried spending more money than what’s available in their bank account has likely been issued an overdraft charge or an NSF fee. Although many believe the two terms are interchangeable, there are some critical differences between them:

  • Overdraft fee: Banks typically charge overdraft fees when they allow a transaction to process that would have otherwise overdrawn an account. Customers can view an overdraft as a temporary loan from the bank, with the expectation of paying back the amount the bank covered plus an overdraft fee.
  • NSF fee: Banks commonly charge an NSF fee when an account lacks the funds required to cover a transaction and the bank doesn’t permit the transaction to process, resulting in a bounced check or denied electronic bill payment. A bank could impose an NSF fee when the account holder opts out of overdraft protection, surpasses the bank’s limit for overdraft protection or issues a payment that exceeds the amount of money in their account.

What Triggers an NSF Charge?

Several common causes of an NSF payment include unpredictable cash flow, inadequate fund management, delayed or missed payments and unexpected expenses.

Specific situations that may incur an NSF fee include:

  • A check that bounces: A bounced check means there wasn’t enough money in an account to cover the amount written. The business that accepted the check could issue a fee to the check writer in addition to a fee charged by the bank or credit union.
  • An electronic ACH payment that a bank doesn’t cover: When a bank processes an ACH payment and the account has insufficient funds, it will decline the transaction and may impose an NSF fee for the unsuccessful payment attempt.
  • A debit card purchase: A bank or credit union could issue an NSF fee if it rejects an attempted debit card transaction that exceeds the available funds in an account. NSF fees for debit card transactions are highly uncommon because most technologies can identify the funds a purchaser has available.

What Happens When an NSF Payment Is Issued?

When an NSF payment occurs, a number of negative consequences may follow. The financial institution of the person issuing the payment makes one of two choices.

Allowing the Payment

The bank may decide to let the ACH payment or check push through. This, however, would put the account holder into an overdrawn status. For some banks, this means they will charge a fee simply for overdrawing, but may continue to charge for each day or certain amount that they are over. It can end up burning quite a hole in the wallet.

Refusing the Payment

The bank may refuse to honor the payment. The bank will not allow the funds to be processed, and the account holder will likely be charged a fee just for issuing the payment without having funds available.

Potentially, the returned item could sink the depositor’s account into overdrawn status, also initiating an overdraft fee. Banks consider both the depositors and the account holders as being responsible for the NSF payment, and they have no problem making it a very expensive mistake.

 

How do You Protect Your Business From NSF Payments?

NSF payments can be very frustrating and costly to businesses that need to process the transactions. Some businesses decide not to accept ACH payments or checks at all as a last resort. However, this choice limits payment options for your customers.

For many businesses, accepting paper and eChecks is a wise decision. This practice gives customers the flexibility of selecting a payment option that works for them—and many people just want to simply have a payment come right out of their bank account.

But how can businesses handle NSF payments? It’s wise to have a plan set into place so that when NSF payments appear, it isn’t a complete disaster. NSF re-presentment is your best option, as it allows you to recover the funds for each unsuccessful ACH transaction.

 

What is NSF Re-Presentment?

When an NSF payment occurs, re-presentment will simply re-present the payment at a later date. This way, the payment has another chance to clear. CSG Forte’s NSF re-presentment option lets you select the date you wish to re-present the payment, enabling you to choose a time when you think there is a stronger likelihood that the funds are available.

You may know, for instance, when your customer gets their paycheck. Scheduling NSF re-presentment on or directly after this date increases your chances of accessing the funds and clearing the payment.

 

The Benefits of Using Recovery Solutions From CSG Forte

Our Recovery Solutions allow businesses to automate the process of recovering NSF payments. We will attempt to re-collect NSF payments up to two times on your behalf for ACH payments, saving you significant time and hassle. Benefits you’ll enjoy with this service include:

  • Improved payment recovery: Our smart re-presentment functionality allows companies to re-present payment when they will most likely receive a recovered payment.
  • Boosted revenue: Besides receiving the complete value of recovered payment, your business will receive part of the collected NSF fee and experience a revenue share.
  • Easy implementation: With a quick and simple implementation, you’ll be up and running in no time.
  • FCRA and Nacha compliance: Recover NSF payments with peace of mind. Our Recovery Solutions meet Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Nacha regulations.
  • Reduce service disruptions: Improve the customer experience by reducing service disruptions due to incomplete payment.

How It Works

At CSG Forte, we make collecting NSF payments simple. When you’re hit with an NSF payment, our solutions will automatically attempt to recollect the ACH or eCheck payment up to two times.

Get in Touch With Us Today

Contact us today to learn how one large enterprise organization recovered $78M in principle through CSG Forte’s Recovery Solutions.

 

What’s a payment channel?

Since all of our recent chatter about omni-channel is centered on multiple channels, here’s a quick breakdown on payment channels and what we offer.

What is a Payment Channel?

A payment channel is basically any way that a customer might make a payment or anywhere that you (as a merchant) might accept a payment. This is slightly different from retail channels, which might include bricks-and-mortar, catalogs, and online shopping/eCommerce sites. Payment channels are generally related to these retail channels, but are more specifically how the payment might be made: physical POS systems, phone/IVR payments, online checkout solutions, and mobile payment options, for example.

So these correlate to retail channels, but leave some room for overlap. For example, at a bricks-and-mortar retail channel, you might process payments on a physical POS system (ie the cash register), as well as on smartphones or tablets within the store. Your catalog might accept payments by phone, but also integrate nicely into the omni-channel concept so that customers could walk into your bricks-and-mortar store to pay at the POS, or they could shop the catalog online and pay via online checkout. There is a relationship between payment channels and retail channels, and since you definitely want to start creating a cohesive experience via omni-channel, it’s important to consider what payment channels you might implement.

 

Payment Channels CSG Forte Supports

CSG Forte offers full payment processing support for the following channels:

Physical POS

We can supply card readers, help build a solution with our Virtual Terminal that turns existing computers into instant workstations, and more.

Phone/IVR

Comes with your own toll-free number and script-building assistance.

Mobile Payments

Use the iDynamo and our mobile app to instantly take payments on smartphones and tablets.

Online Payments

Our new Checkout is smart, speedy, and stocked with options.

You can accept both credit cards and electronic checks on any of these channels, and each channel comes with our cloud-based Virtual Terminal for transaction management and our powerful payment gateway services. All of the reports funnel into the Virtual Terminal, so you don’t have to worry about piecing things together on your own.

 

Payment Channel Solutions For Your Business

These payment channels don’t necessarily have to correlate only to retail, as well. Government agencies could implement online payments to accept taxes on the web and build a smart physical POS system for in-office payments. Veterinary clinics, dance studios, and other businesses can all benefit from considering an omni-channel approach.

And what’s easier than setting up all of your channels with one company? Get started with CSG Forte today. Give us a call at 866.290.5400 to see what we can do for you.

 

SEC Code Glossary: A Quick Guide to Entry Class Codes

In the world of electronic payments, NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) governs and dictates the regulations for processing electronic transactions through the Federal Reserve. The regulations are very serious, utilized in legal proceedings regarding transactions and relied upon by banks, payment processors, and both federal and state governments. NACHA keeps the order for the industry, and it’s important to abide by every one of their regulations.

Whenever a transaction is submitted, NACHA needs an SEC code along with it.

 

What is an SEC code?

SEC stands for “Standard Entry Class,” and is basically a code that denotes the way a customer authorized a payment. When you apply for payment processing, sometimes you will find that certain types of payment methods are associated with lower costs.

For now, we’re going to give you a quick glossary of SEC codes for easy reference.

Common SEC Codes and Their Meanings

POS/POP

POS (Point-of-Sale) and POP (Point-of-Purchase) entries refer to single debit payments made in-person via credit/debit card (POS) or converted check (POP). Both the card and/or the check are used to record the account information in association with the payment, and the original method of payment is then returned to the customer.

PPD

PPD (Prearranged Payment and Deposit Entry) refers to Direct Deposit entries and any Preauthorized Bill Payment applications. In this way, these payments can be both debits or credits (meaning funds can be removed or deposited into an account) and either single or recurring (occurring as a one-time payment or scheduled multiple payments).

WEB

A WEB (Internet Initiated Entry) is simply any debit via the Internet. These entries may be single or recurring.

These debits must be authorized by the receiver via the Internet. In other words, if the authorization itself was actually received in person, via U.S. Mail or by phone, for example, even to actually suffice for a payment from the Internet – it’s not really a WEB entry. However the authorization was received is how the transaction must be classified via the SEC code.

Also bear in mind you may only initiate a credit here as a reversal of a WEB debit. You can’t submit a credit using the WEB entry code.

TEL

TEL (Telephone Initiated Entry) entries are single debit entries authorized via the telephone. In this oral authorization entry there must be a pre-existing relationship between the receiver (person authorizing the payment) and originator (person/entity receiving the payment). If there is no relationship already in place, then the receiver has to make the phone call.

Additionally, all TEL transactions have to be recorded and kept on file for a minimum of two years from the date of the transaction. If the transaction is not recorded, then the originator needs to provide the receiver with a written notice that confirms the oral authorization before the payment settles.

CCD

A CCD (Corporate Credit or Debit) is also known as “Cash Concentration or Disbursement.” These entries can be either a credit or debit – and occur specifically between corporate entities. It can be a single entry or recurring.

All business bank account transactions are listed under this SEC code. A signed authorization has to be obtained either separately or included in the contract between the businesses prior to the transaction date.

ARC

An ARC (Accounts Receivable Entry) is defined as a check conversion that is originally received via the U.S. Mail. This includes the USPS (United States Postal Service), as well as courier services like FedEx and UPS. According to NACHA, this does not include personally delivered or night drop-box items. Corporate checks are also not included.

There’s also a slight change you’ll run into these less common SEC codes:

CTX

CTX (Corporate Trade Exchange) entries are initiated by originators to pay or collect their obligations. The funds are transferred to other organizations and so mirror the same business entity requirements as the CCD entry code. Both credits and debits are allowed.

RCK

The RCK (Represented Check Entry) entry refers specifically to single debits that occur as a result of check representment. Check representment occurs after an item is returned NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds), or is bounced. The service will simply represent the check at a later, scheduled date after it is returned. Some businesses choose to initiate check representment in order to attempt to recollect their funds. For merchants that use RCK entries, a notice must be displayed visibly at the POS.

BOC

BOC (Back Office Conversion Entry) entries are single debit entries that are initiated by source documents (checks) received at POP or manned bill payment locations (in-person). These checks are collected first then converted to ACH during back office processing.

CIE

A CIE (Customer Initiated Entry) is a credit initiated usually through a bill payment service by an individual. These are meant to pay an obligation.

XCK

The XCK (Destroyed Check Entry) refers to a replacement entry that is initiated when an original check is unreadable, lost or destroyed and cannot be processed.