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UPDATED: Spring 2016 Update FAQs

UPDATE: 05/17/2016 9:00AM CDT

Due to some issues reported with the Spring 2016 version, we put a hold on new updates. Unfortunately, fixing these issues is taking longer than we expected.

Because we want to get it right, rather than just quickly, we’ve decided to instead skip additional Spring updates and simply release everything (including the fixes) in Summer 2016. The Summer 2016 version of Ascend is expected for wide release on June 21st. If you’d like to be part of our Early Release group, please email the Ascend Support Team at help@ascendrms.com with the subject “Summer 2016 Early Release”.


Original Post: 04/28/2016

The Spring 2016 version of Ascend brings many great changes – but it’s also brought some questions. This week’s post aims to clear things up for you.

Check out the release notes for a list of all the changes, or view our feature overview video for a summary.

I’m still on Winter 2015

Where’s my update? There’s actually a few different answers to this question, depending on whether or not you’re a multi-store retailer or use integrated payment processing with Chase Paymentech™. Regardless of which group you fall into, please note that we have temporarily turned off the update while we investigate some reported discrepancies with EMV processing.

  1. If you use integrated payment processing, you’ll need to sign an addendum to enable end-to-end encryption on your account(s) with Chase Paymentech™. If you haven’t done so, follow our instructions to get started. (Please note – you must send all information exactly as specified, or your request may not be processed.) If you need EMV-capable payment terminals, you can still get the Ingenico iSC250 payment terminal for only $700 through the end of the month. You can even bundle it with the stand for an extra $50. Contact the Support Team or email sales@ascendrms.com for more information.

  2. If you’re a “secondary” location (i.e. not the primary/master location) in a multi-store environment, your location cannot update until the primary location has completed their update. Once the Ascend Support Team receives notification that the primary location is updated, we’ll mark all other stores for update. (Please note – it may take us up to two business days to do so. Need it faster? Give us a call!).

  3. If you’ve received your signed addendum from Chase Paymentech™ or you don’t use integrated payment processing, AND you are a primary or single location, we have temporarily turned off the update while we investigate some reported discrepancies with EMV processing. As soon as we have these issues resolved, you’ll receive notification to update.

I’m a multi-store retailer – what do I need to know before I update? There’s a lot of great changes coming! Our multi-store overview document gives you a rundown of the major changes. However, one important thing to note is that product information (excluding – if you’ve chosen accordingly in Options – MSRP, min/max values, commission rates, in-store location, and tax details) from your primary location will overwrite your secondary stores’ information, so be sure you’ve made all your updates (including categorization) in the primary location before you update.

How will the separated payment types for gift cards and certificates affect my reporting? In short, any pre-update payments which were processed as gift cards (swiped) display separately as Gift Card Balances, and those processed as gift certificates (payment saved manually) display as Gift Certificate Balances. Gift Card Balances display a single total, without customer details. Gift Certificate Balances are assigned to individual customer records. Our Ascend Customer Network post goes into more detail on this distinction.

I’m already running Spring 2016

How do I run EMV (chip) cards? If a credit card has an EMV chip, it must be “dipped” (inserted) for processing. DO NOT swipe the card. Depending on the card or issuing bank, the customer may be prompted sign for the purchase. If an EMV card is swiped or manually processed (card information typed), you are liable for the charge in case of a dispute.

Why can’t I process EMV (chip) cards? After updating Ascend, all workstations with a payment terminal require a device firmware update. Return to Update Ascend and click Firmware. This update may take several minutes, and cannot be interrupted.

Why aren’t my customers getting prompted to sign on my payment terminal? After updating Ascend, all workstations with a payment terminal require a device firmware update. Return to Update Ascend and click Firmware. This update may take several minutes, and cannot be interrupted.

If you’ve already done this on all workstations, it’s also possible the customer’s card wasn’t set up to require either a PIN or a signature. In this case, Ascend defaults to printing a blank signature receipt.

How do I access the customer’s captured digital signature? For security, captured signatures are encrypted and are not stored as a viewable image. If a signature is required for a dispute, reprint a signature receipt for the transaction this always includes the digital signature. If you prefer to file hard-copies for all digital signatures, select the Print Signature Receipt with Digital Signature option in Options > Payment Processing > Signature Receipt.

I’m a multi-store retailer – why was my product categorization lost after updating? Products were categorized at the secondary location(s), but not at the primary location. Follow our step-by-step instructions for help re-categorizing these items.

My customer was charged multiple times, but Ascend only shows one payment – what happened? We are currently investigating reports that this may be happening if Ascend, the payment terminal, and/or the receipt printer become unresponsive or unexpectedly close during a payment. Before running any additional charges or refunds, always confirm payments were processed by Chase Paymentech™. Follow our step-by-step instructions for refunding duplicate charges.

How do I clean up my outstanding gift certificate/in-store credit liabilities? Any Gift Certificate balances which were not assigned to a customer display on reports with the customer Legacy *GC_Balance. Follow our step-by-step instructions for cleaning up any erroneous liability balances.

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