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UPDATED: Don’t Get Hung Up

UPDATE: 7/22/2016  2:13 PM CST
We’ve receiving reports on the support line that some customers aren’t recognizing a new instance where payments are being declined. If ignored, transactions are not successfully completed and payment isn’t received. Read on to learn how to make the most out of the new security standards meant to protect your business from fraud.

Ascend “approves” an EMV payment, but immediately voids the transaction and continues to show a balance due.

With the move to EMV cards, merchant processors have implemented robust systems that automatically verify card and account information using the embedded chip. Authentication happens between the card, your payment terminal, and the payment processor. Ascend then reads these verification messages and reacts accordingly.

Because there are several security checks in place, a single payment might pass one verification check yet fail another. When this happens, Ascend will automatically void the payment and not apply it the outstanding balance – in accordance with rules and regulations set by Chase.

After automatically voiding a payment Ascend will mark the payment in red (even though it might say “Approved”) and it won’t show the Change Due window (because a valid payment has yet to be accepted). Ascend will also print out an additional “Void” receipt after the initial “Approved” receipt.

Eager cashiers, distracted techs, or impatient customers might make these warnings easy to miss. We’re making changes to the system to ensure more prominent placement for these messages with the Fall 2016 version of Ascend, but if you’re using Summer 2016 please use these tips to make sure you’re accurately collecting payment before merchandise leaves the store:


Original Post: 7/20/2016

Summer 2016 has been out for a few weeks now – but we’re still hearing some lingering questions. This week, we’re covering a few of the most common calls that our support team receives.

How do I process debit cards?

Short answer: Swipe all debit cards, regardless of whether or not they’re EMV. We’re currently certified only for chip & sign processing, not true chip & PIN. Check out this post for the details.

My Ingenico payment terminal isn’t working like it used to.

After updating Ascend, a firmware update must be run to update the software on your payment terminals. To prevent any potential problems with this, we recommend you follow these steps:

  1. From the Ascend Desktop, click Options.
  2. Navigate to Payment Processing > Pinpad Setup.
  3. Click Calibrate and allow the Ingenico payment terminal to completely reboot.
  4. Close Options, and return to the Ascend Desktop.
  5. Click Update Ascend, then click Firmware on the toolbar. You’ll be prompted to install the update – click Yes, and allow it to complete.
  6. If you get a prompt stating that no update is available, it’s not necessary to reinstall the firmware – you’re all set!

My peripheral settings keep disappearing.

Many of these settings, as well as users’ screen customizations, rely on the Workstation Name to function correctly. If several workstations share the same name, Ascend has no way of checking which workstation made a change or whose it should keep. Sharing workstation names also makes reconciling your cash drawers extremely difficult and prevents you from properly investigating any type of discrepancies. If you haven’t set up unique names for each of your workstations, just follow our step-by-step help instructions to do so!

If you’d like to prevent the Database, Location, and Workstation from being changed, you can head to Options > General to lock those options at login.

It takes a long time for product changes to sync across my multi-store locations.

Unfortunately, the large amount of multi-store retailers updating to Summer 2016 from Winter 2015 has put a much larger load on our servers than we anticipated. While we expect this to balance out once the majority of locations have updated, we’ve already taken steps to beef up our servers in order to handle the strain.

It takes a long time to look up the remote inventory values at my multi-store locations.

This is partially due to the same server overload mentioned above. However, all searches – whether it’s for a special-order product, an item to add to a vendor order, or a Google search for your favorite Grumpy Cat meme – can benefit from a little love. Use these tips to ensure you aren’t spending extra time on the loading screen:

Catch ‘Em All: Don’t forget about July’s hardware special – we’ve marked down our Motorola DS4308-DL (corded) and DS6878-DL (cordless) scanners through the end of the month. These scanners allow you to scan customer driver’s licenses to capture their address and other information (as allowed by your local privacy laws) with a simple scan. You can then use the same scanner to add products to their transaction. The DS4308-DL scanner is just $325 (C$416), and the DS6878-DL is $800 (C$1024). Email sales@ascendrms.com to order yours today!

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