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Season of Transformation

The seasons are marching on, and they’re bringing lots of change with them. This week, we’re covering a few things you can do to keep your store ready to go throughout the summer.

TCG quarterly price update: Last week, Trek released their latest quarterly price update. The In-Store Pricing report on Ascend Online Reports (AOR) allows you to quickly download files to update products in your system that are priced below Trek’s MSRP and to re-print labels for any of those items that you still have in stock. Multi-store retailers – you will need to download these files separately for each location, but you can import the update spreadsheet at any location. Check our online help topic for full details and step-by-step instructions.

Summer lines are coming: Our vendor data coordinators are starting to get summer product line catalogs! If you haven’t snagged the spring lines yet, it’s not too late, either. Just head over to the Retailer Portal, choose your country’s Vendor Files page, and download the appropriate spreadsheet for the vendor. For step-by-step instructions, our online help topic has you covered.

Get the DL on void approvals: Have you run into EMV (“chip”) cards that returns an error that the payment cannot be processed, prints a receipt with a VOID APPROVED heading, and displays the payment on the transaction in red? It isn’t a bug in Ascend – it’s actually expected behavior for a (generally) unusual circumstance.

When an EMV payment is taken, there are two parts to the processing. First, the encrypted card information is sent through Chase to the respective issuer of the card to ensure the account is active, has a sufficient balance available, etc. – if the card isn’t declined during this initial processing, Chase returns a conditional approval to Ascend.

Then it’s the chip’s turn, and it gets the final say. If there’s a problem reading the data from the chip, the information returned from the initial processing doesn’t match what the chip’s expecting, or data loss occurs due to an unstable Internet connection, the payment is declined and voided. If the customer has access to their bank/card balance via website or smartphone app, they may still see this voided charge as an “authorization request” or hold until it’s released in 24-48 hours (depending on the bank), but the card won’t actually be charged.

If the problem was due to a loss of data during transmission, you may be able to simply re-run the payment without issue. However, some banks/issuers didn’t set up their host system to utilize the full EMV security measures, so you may have seen an increase in these situations as smaller, local banks/credit unions begin to roll out EMV cards (however, other cards may also be affected).

The good news is that there’s a specific message returned by many of these cards that indicates that the payment processor (Chase) can process them as if they were a swiped card – and now that we’re aware of this message, we’re including a change in the Summer 2017 release to allow them to continue processing. As long as you process these cards using the chip reader on your payment terminal, you’ll still be protected from liability for fraudulent charges.

We’re working to continue simplifying this process flow for both you and your customers. However, since EMV technology in the US is still in its infancy, we’ve had to concentrate our resources on back-end processes to stay current and certified so that we can ensure you and your customers remain free from liability for fraudulent charges and keep your customer data protected.

Last call for Trekfest: Reimbursement requests for Trekfest 2017 were due April 24. But if you missed it, contact Trek customer service to discuss your options. If they approve late submission, get the queries (and details on sending them off) in our online help topic.

Last chance for deals & steals: Our trade show hardware stock is almost out – but there’s still a few more days to take advantage of our closeout pricing on our remaining items. All sales are first-come, first served, so get your order in today!

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