Payment Technology Blog

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

QuickBooks Data Manipulation

It's, once again, been too long since I've blogged. I've been so busy, with all of the iPhone users downloading iTransaX - our recently released credit card app for iPhone.

One of my colleagues recently sent me an interesting article on the iPhone phenomenon. Of course, I wholeheartedly disagree with the article - I think the iPhone rocks! And not just because we have an iPhone application, with more to come, in the iTunes store!

Anyway, I'm not really hear to talk about iPhone today - I want to talk about QuickBooks. As more and more merchants begin using the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Module (which, as you may know, allows users to process credit card, ACH/E-check/EFT, and Remote Deposit Capture (RDC)/check conversion transactions), we've been getting many very specific requests. For example:
  • "None of my customers have a "preferred payment method set. Is there anyway I can easily go through and set all of their payment methods without having to edit each individual customer in QuickBooks?"
  • "I use the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway, and I have 1000 customers that I have to add to the Customer Vault. Is there anyway to process them all in a batch, instead of one at a time?"
  • "I have invoices that are generated from my website, and the payment is collected on the website. Is there anyway to get that invoice and payment data easily back into QuickBooks?"
  • "I need to auto create many invoices periodically, which have complex rules on the generation of those invoices. Is there anyway to automate this?"
Well, the answer was always "You'd have to have a programmer build a custom tool for you to accomplish that goal." Well, we've come up with a solution.

We have built a tool using Microsoft Access - the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Data Management Utility. This is how it works:

- When run, the database will attach to the currently open QuickBooks company file on the current computer.
- Customers, Payment Methods, Items, etc, will be brought into the utility.
- Users can update customers, add new customers, or add new invoices.
- Customer Records are added and updated in QuickBooks, Invoices are created, and payment records created where applicable.
- NELiX TransaX Customer Vault entries created where applicable.
- Data can be imported in a preset format using an easy import tool.
- Alternatively, Access savvy users can import or link to any data source, import data, manipulate as desired, then write that data into the tables that feed into our updater.

This tool allows easily manipulation of customer data, and easy automation of invoice creation. And, best of all, it's free to any customer of NELiX TransaX!

More about the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks technology
More about the NELiX TransaX iPhone app - iTransaX

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since my last post - I try to keep current, but things have been crazy.

Since last I've posted, we've been involved with FileMaker, 4th Dimension (4D), Ruby, VB.NET, Classic ASP, Microsoft Access and QuickBooks systems - integrating credit card, ACH and Remote Deposit/Check Conversion services into various technologies.

The traditional databases are my favorite - FileMaker, 4D, Access. For some reason, the vast majority of organizations think about processing payments from their online system, and from their point of sale system, but never from their in house database. It's great to see developers helping their customers integrate payment processing into these types of systems.

The NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module is keeping me busier than all of the other technologies combined. The ability to do credit card processing, ACH processing, check conversion, batch processing, etc - has proven very attractive to merchants using QuickBooks.

We'll have some exciting announcements over the next couple months so watch this space.

More information on integrating credit card/ACH acceptance into your application.
More information on the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module for credit card acceptance.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) in QuickBooks!

I am extremely excited about the new features that we recently added to the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module.

Now, in addition to being able to perform Credit Card and ACH (E-check) processing from within QuickBooks using our module, and in addition to the powerful batch processing features of our QuickBooks module, you can now perform Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), Check Conversion, Check 21 through our QuickBooks module!

The module is integrated with select Epson and RDM Check readers. Just plug them in, install the drivers, and you're ready to roll.

- No more manually entering received checks into QuickBooks
- No more filling out deposit slips.
- No more endorsing your checks.
- No more driving to the bank.
- No more waiting in lines!

It is an exciting new feature of the module. We have more big features on the way. Keep watching this space...

Information on RDC through QuickBooks
Infomation on NELiX TransaX

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Love Programmers

One of the greatest facets of my job is having the distinct honor of working with developers around the world.

As everybody in this day and age knows, E-Commerce is an essential component to most internet based applications. Because of the technology we provide to the development community, we are constantly approached by innovators.

These developers have ideas on how to use technology to reshape the world and approach us because our technology adds tools to help them realize their vision. Being exposed to these innovators is extremely uplifting. I love hearing about the dreams and visions of these developers.

Of course, due to confidentiality agreements in place, I can't go into any detail on the specific innovations, but seeing the concepts of Ruby developers, QuickBooks consultants, MS Access programmers, .NET gurus, FileMaker wizards, Flash designers - well, it highlights why I love the business I am in.

These people are ready to change the world - and it happens every day. Some of these concepts will fail, while others will soar beyond the creators wildest dreams. I see new concepts every day, and I love hearing about every one of them, and even more, I love having the opportunity of being a part of something that may leave a lasting impact on the online world.

Innovators - keep on dreaming!

More information on NELiX TransaX Payment Processing Integration for Developers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Merchant Account Cancellation Fees

It is a standard practice in the industry to charge an early termination fee. This is understandable - considerable time and effort goes into underwriting and boarding a new account, time is spent on customer service, etc. An early termination fee is a way for a merchant account provider to make sure they will recoup their initial investment into a new merchant account. These fees are usually range from $200 - $500 depending on the provider.

However, some entities enact extremely unethical early termination fees.

For example, some merchant account providers will charge a mutliple on the earnings from the largest volume month over the past 12 months. Some providers will go so far as charge a multiple on their profit + interchange + dues and assessments!

Two examples that I have encountered:

1) Big Bank - I had a merchant processing with this bank. They wanted to cancel, and were prepared to pay what they thought was a $295 early termination fee. They receive a communication from the bank telling them their early termination fee was $60,000+!!! WOW! This was their highest month from the past 12 months, including interchange + dues + assessments + the bank's profits.

2) Merchant Account Provider - Similar scenario - very small merchant, tried to cancel and the provider threatened to assess an $18,000+ cancellation fee. WOW!

In both cases, these organizations were assessing against future earnings (i.e. no loss was represented to these organizations) and future earnings they never would have earned (i.e. interchange + dues + assessments)

This practice is BAD!! Obviously. Here's why:
1) It is, in my opinion, an extremely unethical practice. It is unfair to the merchant, and it's this type of action that makes merchants at large hate merchant account providers. It is bad for the industry as a whole.
2) Similar scenarios caused legislation in Arizona to be passed putting a $50 cap on early termination fees. This type of action will invite government regulation.
3) This type of action does not help the provider in the long run - it ends up causing attrition, instead of preventing it, and ends up with a customer who will never come back.

So, my message to all you merchant account providers out there who adopt this practice - STOP IT!

My message to merchants - read your early termination penalties VERY CAREFULLY before signing. If you do get into a situation where your provider is trying to hit you with extreme and unreasonable penalties, those contracts are unenforcable in court. You can fight it, and you'll win.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MWAA Annual Meeting

I spent the last couple days attending the MWAA (Midwest Acquirers Association) annual conference in Lombard, IL. As always, the show was very productive. There is always great educational opportunities and networking opportunities at these trade shows. I learned a lot, and made many new valuable connections.

One thing that was very apparent, the show was very "retail" oriented. Most of the discussions, panels, questions, etc revolved around serving the retail merchants of America. It's great that the retail segment is given a lot of attention, as they are deserving of it. They are a large segment, and they are and have always been a staple of the American economy.

However, a specific segment was sorely overlooked. The Internet segment. There were no sessions, panels, discussions, questions about Internet merchants at all. To me, that is mind boggling. Internet merchants are a major segment of U.S. commerce, and will continue to grow and grow quickly. Before long, every merchant will be online in one form or another.

Sure, there were a dozen gateway companies represented, and other software based vendors in the exhibit hall, but none of the show content was geared towards this segment. Why was this segment overlooked?

It's simple, the industry as a whole does not understand this segment. Retail is obvious - retailers all behave the same way. They either swipe credit cards through a terminal, or through a swipe reader attached to a point of sale system. The POS system may grow in scale or scope, but it's always the same. Reprogram a terminal or POS OR sell the merchant a new one, and you're good to go.

With Internet merchants, there is no cookie cutter format. Every Internet merchant has unique needs. Every Internet merchant will process in a different way, and respond to the results in a different way. For a traditional merchant account sales person, who used to sell terminals and is now faced with selling gateway accounts, it is a very complex process.

I belong to a discussion group for 4D, a database technology. I recently saw a post from a member of the group that was faced with integrating payment processing into their application. They selected a payment gateway to integrate, and went on to describe what a painful process the integration was. So painful, in fact, that they almost gave up. Through perseverance, they made it through, and it's been mostly smooth since then, but the initial integration was much more difficult than it should have been.

Even gateway companies, which grew out of a need for a "virtual terminal" don't understand what merchant facing developers need. The development community, who has ultimate influence on a merchants payment processing decisions, is largely neglected by the merchant account industry.

We are a unique merchant account provider. We do not have any "old school" merchant account sales people on staff. We come form the software development and consulting community. We look to form partners with developers in order to help them make the process easy, and provide the tool set they really need. We provide solutions.

Anyway, I can go on and on about this all day.

For more information on what we provide, visit the NELiX TransaX Developers Site.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Credit Card and ACH Processing in FoxPro

Yeah, you heard me. FoxPro! FoxPro is a database platform that has been around for an extremely long time and at one time was widely considered the fastest database platform available.

I remember seeing an Apple demonstration in the early 90's, running on the hotest Mac of the time, and using the Fox platform. The demo ran searches against the U.S. postal database in milliseconds. Very impressive.

Much like other database technologies - such as Microsoft Access, FileMaker or 4th Dimension (4D) - most FoxPro users and developers never consider the possibility of running credit card and ACH (E-check) transactions, in real time, through their FoxPro databases.

When you realize that this type of automation can be done, the possibilities are endless. For example:

- Eliminate exporting and importing to/from third party applications to run transactions.
- Automate the payment process - auto charge customers.
- Create cascading systems - i.e. if a credit card payment fails, run an E-check transaction
- Create systems to "initiate" customers and bill them later
- Create ad hoc rebills

NELiX TransaX recently added a FoxPro payment processing integration example to the FleXport suite of libraries. Download and take a look!

Download FleXport integration libraries here.
More information on NELiX TransaX
Developers can partner with NELiX TransaX. Find out how!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why don't merchants process credit cards from Microsoft Access?

I don't get it. When you talk about a web based application accepting credit cards is one of the first questions that is asked.

When you talk about a database, nobody ever thinks about credit card processing. Take Microsoft Access for example. I have worked with Access since it's inception back in 1991. I have worked with hundreds of Access databases over the years, and met many other Access developers.

There are millions upon millions of databases out there - order entry systems, fulfillment systems, customer service systems, call center systems, etc. There are databases setup for every purpose you can imagine.

So, why don't people process credit cards from directly within their Microsoft Access database? Processing from within MS Access is no different than processing from a website. Your database hits a payment gateway, which in turn hits your merchant account. Writing this code is not brain surgery - in fact, take a look at this example of integrating credit card processing in Microsoft Access!

There is some type of block in the mind of database developers that stops them before they think about automation of credit card processing. People just don't think about it as a possibility.

It's not just Microsoft Access - it's every non-web based platform! FileMaker, 4th Dimension, you name it (by the way, we have examples of credit card integration with FileMaker and 4D available.)

Once, as a database developer, you realize that this can be done, and can be easily done, you can start to see ways to automate this piece of your customers business.

That is what we are here for! We're here to educate the database development community - you CAN process credit cards and ACH transactions from within your database and you can do it EASILY! Check out our examples, and then let your imagination go from there. I guarantee that at least some of your customers can benefit from an integrated payment processing system.

We partner with developers to help them bring payment processing automation to their customers. With our tools:
  • Developers can further automate their customers business processes.
  • Developers can earn development dollars when integrating the payment processing automation.
  • Customers benefit from a newly streamlined payment processing procedure
  • Customers benefit from reduced rates
  • Developers earn an ongoing residual stream
It's a win-win-win situation! If you are interested in learning more:
Credit Card / ACH Integration for Developers

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

QuickBooks Payment Add-on - Now with Swipe and Vista

The TRANSAX Gateway QuickBooks credit card add-on is arguably the flagship of our powerful FlexPort package. Previously, we have attracted a lot of interest from developers of all types - Flash/Flex/Actionscript, FileMaker, 4D, Access, ASP, .NET, Ruby, PHP, etc.

Our QuickBooks Add-on has received so much interest, that we have spent a lot of time enhancing and improving the module. Most recently, we have added:
  • Swipe support, which allows merchants to get card present rates.
  • Windows Vista support!
  • Additional enhancements to the batch processing function.
The new version is now available! Download it today

More information about our QuickBooks Payment Add-on

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The TRANSAX Gateway

The TRANSAX payment gateway is the core of our offerings. All of our FleXport technology - examples using 4D, FileMaker, PHP, Ruby, Access, Classic ASP, .NET, iMIS, QuickBooks, Flash/Flex, etc - use the payment gateway to work their magic.

Because this is a critical piece of our technology, we have recently launched a site dedicated to the gateway itself! The TRANSAX Gateway site talked about features such as our Customer Vault for PCI compliance and tokenizing transactions, our rich fraud prevention tools, our ACH tools and our integration options.

Sign up for a free demo at the site and see for yourself why the TRANSAX Gateway stands far above the rest.

The TRANSAX Gateway site

Thursday, June 4, 2009

QuickBooks Credit Cards and ACH - Earn Residuals

I have blogged frequently about our QuickBooks Add-on for processing credit cards and ACH/E-check. There is a reason for this.

Although our rich FlexPort technology contains code for integrating credit card and ACH/E-check processing on many different platforms - FileMaker, 4D, Ruby, PHP, MS Access, VB.NET, C#, ASP, etc, etc - the QuickBooks Add-on is the most exciting.

The reason is simple - the QuickBooks Add-on is an easy to use application that works with QuickBooks to easily add Credit Card and ACH/E-check processing to QuickBooks. The module contains features that QuickBooks does not support out of the box - i.e the ability to run ACH/E-check transactions, the ability to process payments in a batch, the ability to run unattended batches, etc. It is easy to install, and has a very friendly user interface.

Because of this, we have attracted a lot of interest from ISO's, CPA's, programmers, consultants and merchants.

Throughout all of these QuickBooks related blogs, I almost forgot the best part! We share revenues with our partners!

In other words, if you are an ISO, and cannot sell a merchant account to a client because they are using Intuit Merchant Services, bring that merchant to us. We will share the revenues with you, and help you reclaim a piece of business that you otherwise would have had to walk away from.

If you are a CPA, and have customers who are looking for alternatives to Intuit Merchant Services, send them our way. We will meet their need and add a new revenue stream to your books!

If you are a consultant, integrator or programmer, bring your QuickBooks clients to us. We will help you add tools to your arsenal to better serve your customers, save them money, and help you build a new stream of additional income.

It's easy, it doesn't cost our partners a dime, it will help your customers reduce costs and improve efficiency, and will increase your revenue.

All partners of NELiX TransaX earn LIFETIME residuals. In other words, as long as an account you refer to us is processing with us, you will earn residuals.

More Information on our QuickBooks Credit Card/ACH Processing module

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Credit Card and ACH Automation

Our specialty is putting together completely unique and custom systems for payment processing. This is a service that is hard to find, and there are many merchants who have large headaches when it comes to payment processing.

The majority of the payment processing industry does not have a good understanding of this need. The majority of tech industry do not have a good understanding of payment processing. Because of this, merchants with unique problems are often left to come up with manual and cumbersome solutions on their own.

We have a good understanding of both sides of the coin and are able to find solutions to previously unsolvable problems. Here are a few examples:
  1. Customer using FileMaker. Every night, this customer exported data from FileMaker, and ran a batch process consisting of thousands of transactions. The next day, the results would be imported back into FileMaker. This resulted in a customer service nightmare, as customer service reps would spend their days chasing after consumers with declined cards. Using the FlexPort toolkit, and our FileMaker integration examples, we integrated credit card and ACH processing directly from within their database. Now, transactions occur in real-time and declines are caught before the customer ever hangs up the phone.
  2. Customer with sales reps in rural areas, no internet access, no technology. Using our Customer Vault technology, we setup a system where reps can call in and punch in a credit card number, returning a sequence number. Later (sometimes months later) when the customer is ready to be billed, that sequence number is referenced along with the amount of the transaction, and the customers credit card his charged.
  3. Customer with three different systems - a Flash/Flex system, a .NET system and QuickBooks. Credit Card/ACH transactions are initiated in the Flash/Flex system, managed in the .NET system, and processed in QuickBooks. Customer had endless difficulty getting information to move between systems and share transaction data. Using the FlexPort library, along with the Customer Vault all three systems work together in a fully automated payment process.
The FlexPort toolkit contains examples/modules for many technologies - 4D, FileMaker, Microsoft Access, .NET (VB.NET/C#), PHP, Classic ASP, Flash/Flex, Ruby, iMIS, QuickBooks, OS Commerce, etc, etc, etc.

Do you have a unique scenario for processing your credit card/ACH transactions? We have the tools to help you automate and streamline those processes.

If you are a developer, talk to us today and we will empower you to help your customers with their payment processing needs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TRANSAX Gateway QuickBooks Add-on now live on YouTube!

The TRANSAX Gateway QuickBooks Module for processing credit card and ACH (also known as E-check or EFT) transactions from within QuickBooks is now live on YouTube!

Process Payments in QuickBooks video on YouTube

Batch Credit Card/ACH Processing in QuickBooks video on YouTube

Thursday, May 7, 2009

QuickBooks Credit Cards, ACH and Batch Processing Demos

Many people have been asking to see the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module in action, but do not want to install it. We created a couple 3 minute movies showing the module in action.

Process Payment Demo:
This shows how easy it is to process a credit card or ACH (aka EFT or E-Check) transaction using the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Module:

Select a format: AVI WMV

Batch Process Demo:
This shows how easy it is to process a batch of credit card or ACH (aka EFT or E-Check) transactions using the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Module. (This also works using an unattended mode which can easily be scripted)

Select a format: AVI WMV

Download the full documentation on using the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module. Don't forget - The NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module can be customized to suit your unique needs!

For more information:
NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Credit Card/ACH site
NELiX TransaX Developers site
NELiX TransaX

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Credit Card Processing in Flash

A few weeks ago, we released a module for integrating payment processing into Flash using Flex.

We have recently added a second module for integrating into Flash using the Flash IDE. For developers who do not want to venture into the world of Flex, integrating payment processing (credit cards and ACH) into Flash has never been easier!

You can now easily integrate points of payment in any flash website, game, movie, etc. Combined with our powerful Customer Vault, one click payments are easy. Users can fill out their billing info upon signing up for a website, and one click points of payment can be integrated throught every game, movie, flash demo, or any other flash application.

Flash developers are extremely creative. With our toolset, the possibilities for integrating credit card and ACH acceptance within Flash are endless.

More information on credit card and ACH processing in Flash/Flex/ActionScript

Download the NELiX TransaX FleXport toolkit

More information on NELiX TransaX

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Batch Payment Processing in QuickBooks

A couple months ago, we released a QuickBooks component that allows people to process credit card payments through QuickBooks.

This module brought a number of benefits to the table for QuickBooks users.
  1. It gives QuickBooks users a second option for payment processing.
  2. It brought ACH (e-check) processing into the picture.
  3. Using the NELiX TransaX Customer Vault, merchants can store billing information in the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway, and never maintain that data, helping them maintain PCI compliance, reduce risk, and increase security.
  4. It can be customized to meet the needs of the specific merchant.
There was one problem however. You had to run the transactions one at a time. For some merchants, that works fine. An customer calls in asking to pay by credit card, that credit card payment is entered through QuickBooks, the customer is charged, payments recorded, etc.

However, many merchants have many transactions that need to be run - sometimes hundreds or thousands at a time. It's just not viable to run these one at a time.

It would be great if a merchant can select the customers to run transactions for (or select all of them), click a button, and all of the transactions are run automatically.

Even better would be if this process can be run unattended. Setup a scheduled task to run credit card and ACH payments for all customers with outstanding balances at midnight each night, for example.

Well, our newly released version 2.0 of the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks module does just that! Using the module, merchants can pull up a list of customers who:
  1. have outstanding balances
  2. have billing information on file within the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway.
Merchants can then check off, or uncheck customers to bill, click a button, and each transaction is processed! Even better, the unattended mode allows merchants to schedule the transaction process to run once a week, once a day, once an hour, or whatever they see fit! Code can be written to launch the batch process from within other applications at the Merchants site.

At the end of the process, payment records are created for the successes, and a CSV file is produced with full details of every transaction. Merchants can bring this data into their back office system and handle the success and declines in any way they see fit.

Best of all, because we are a full development house, a merchant account provider, and a gateway provider, we can customize the process to meet the exact needs of the Merchant.

More information on the NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Module
More information on NELiX TransaX
More information on the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway

Friday, February 6, 2009

QuickBooks and Credit Card Processing

QuickBooks is the accounting package of choice for more than 3 Million businesses and with good reason! It is a full featured and robust accounting package at a great price. I use it myself!

What most QuickBooks users don't know is that QuickBooks offers a full API, which allows developers to create software that will interact with their QuickBooks file.

Unfortunately, working with the QuickBooks API is extremely time intensive, which makes it cost prohibitive to create customizations to the payment processing procedures.

The credit card processing functionality built into QuickBooks is fully integrated and easy to use, but it is not customizable at all. For example, if you want to be able to easily accept ACH (E-check) payments through the same mechanism you cannot. If you wanted to automatically pull data from a third party system, then run transactions and write data into your QuickBooks file, you cannot.

Our goal is to help merchants further automate their processes while at the same time putting more tools in the toolbelt of developers, consultants and integrators.

NELiX TransaX has recently release a QuickBooks module, which gives QuickBooks users and alternative to processing credit card payments out of QuickBooks. This module supports all credit card transactions, the creation of sales receipts, receiving payments against invoices, rebilling customers, running ACH (e-check) transactions and more.

Additionally, we're giving the source code away for FREE to qualified QuickBooks consultants, integrators and developers who partner with NELiX TransaX.

For more information visit:

NELiX TransaX QuickBooks Module
NELiX TransaX Developers Site
NELiX TransaX

The biggest advantage of our gateway comes from power that it puts in the hands of your developers. Easily integrate with your application and take advantage of features to enhance your system.

We invite you to a live demo and the opportunity to build a partnership. Our promise to partners is, through innovation, today's products will be relentlessly enhanced into tomorrow's solutions.

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