The Check Transactions API makes it possible to send and receive money between U.S.A. bank accounts. It does this by using standards implemented by banks and the Federal Reserve for transferring money called ACH. It works through an account validation process, and then issuing the check. Settlement generally occurs within a few hours, when you can safely confirm that the transaction was successfully settled and funds deducted from the customer’s account.
Before starting up with actual API documentation, there are a few concepts that must be understood. On check card processing, there are two main concepts which are fundamental parts of how funds go from the customer’s account to the merchant’s bank. Those are:
Authorization: performing a validation of the bank information while not blocking funds from the customer’s account. This means the balance is still available for the customer and there’s no guarantee of deduction yet.
Settlement: a process, that usually happens every 2 hours, to get all authorizations grouped into a batch of transactions that are then submitted to the processor to deduct the funds from the customer’s account. At this point it is safe to allow access to the product, either by shipping the product or delivering a digital good or service.
In order to keep those two concepts completely manageable by the merchant, on PayCertify Gateway™ we have implemented a Transaction Event concept, which is an append-only log, that keeps the whole transaction lifecycle intact. There are two different types of events for check transactions:
sale, running the authorization and settlement portions, is not real-time. This means you will need to use the reporting endpoints to check for settlement later. If the
sale does not settle, a
refund request will act as a cancellation. If the transaction has already settled, a
refund request will appear as a credit to the customer’s account.