Outsmarting an Outage

Monday, June 26, 2017


Having a great back up plan is good for most things! No one likes to find themselves stranded or unable to deal with a situation and finding yourself without the ability to accept payments from your customers is no exception! Last week, one of the top payment processors had an outage that lasted for several hours. For most businesses, not being able to take credit cards is a serious problem, so having a back up plan is a must! Outsmarting an Outage is as simple as 1.2.3!


Nothing takes the sting out of an emergency like knowing exactly what to do when it occurs! Make sure your team knows what action steps to take when the power, phone lines, internet or processing networks go down. Many businesses simply do not accept cards when the system is down, however most businesses prefer to find a way to accept payments.

  • Knowing how to get a VOICE AUTHORIZATION is the best way to handle a processor outage. All processors have a toll free number that you can call, provide the card information, the amount of the transaction and they will either approve or decline the sale.
  • Knowing how to protect your business against chargebacks when you cannot swipe a card is also very important. Getting imprints, signatures and contact information will protect your business from unnecessary losses.


You know what to do and you have all of your materials in the same place so when the emergency does happen- you are just a few steps away from taking care of business! A preparedness kit should include a hand imprinter, slips, and a cheat sheet for getting voice authorization numbers during an outage. Having all of these items in one handy container will make dealing with an irritating outage MUCH easier!


Voice authorizations just hold the money for a short period of time- they do not MOVE money into your checking account. Making sure the money is on the way to your account is a critical part of being prepared! FORCING a transaction through your terminal (when the system is back up) is the final step in the process. Make sure you know how to keep the money flowing!

BONUS STEP: With all of the mobile options in the marketplace, it is a fairly simple process to have a back up device ready and available. If this sounds like a good option, consider having it before you need it so you can stay calm during a crisis.

When an outage occurs, the phones at Total Merchant Concepts, ring off the hook! We are inundated with calls from merchants who are looking for time frames and ways to deal with the inconvenience. We routinely give them the steps we just discussed!

WHITELIST YOUR EMAIL WITH TMC: When a network challenge happens, we will send you an urgent updates associated with the challenge as well as when things are backup! Make sure your email is confirmed and we have your most updated email on record. Click HERE if you don't know how to whitelist our email.

We now have EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KITS available for any business!

  • Emergency Preparation Questionairre (your business type can alter your back up plan)
  • Hand Imprinter W/Plate
  • Imprinter Slips
  • Contact Information
  • Voice Auth Directions
  • Forcing Transactions Directions
  • Space for Back Up Processing Device

Call (1-888-249-9919) or Email Our Office if you need a kit for the next time an outage tries to interupt your business!

Cheri Perry 6/26/2017

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