Processing Large Sale Credit Card Payment

A Quick Tip for Processing a Large Sale Credit Card Payment

When it comes to processing credit cards sometimes avoiding a nightmare can be as simple as making a phone call.  Recently, I was approached by a prospective customer stating that their existing merchant service company was holding a large sale transaction that they had recently processed.

First, they wanted to know if that was legal. Secondly, they did not understand why this action was being taken since they had been with their existing merchant service provider for several years.  The large sale transaction was needed to pay some vendors for a large event that they had just completed and the hold on the transaction was preventing them from being able to pay their vendors.

Upon hearing this, I began asking questions such as, “Is your business model one that sees consistent credit card volume month after month?”  “Is your average sale size between customers consistently about the same?”  To which they answered yes to both questions and as a result we determined the following.

When processing credit cards the processor you’re working with establishes thresholds on each account to protect the business from fraud by someone internally or externally.  These thresholds are established by using the volume and their average sales amount.

For example, if a business consistently processes transactions around $150.00 and then all of the sudden a transaction comes in as $1500.00 the system will flag the transaction to verify it wasn’t done in error or done fraudulently.  Holds are placed on accounts to help protect the business from fraud or mistakes.  This protection is good, and is set in place for the right reasons however it can also be painful if the transaction was a valid one.

So how do you protect yourself from having a headache when the transaction was valid?  If you don’t see the funds come through as you normally would then they have probably held up the transaction.  If you know this particular transaction is above your typical threshold, then you can alert the representative you are speaking to.  This will hopefully speed up the troubleshooting time and they will alert you as to the next steps.  If you have a representative that you work with and have a direct number for, then I would call them.

One of the things we tell our customers frequently is to call us to alert us that you have a rather large sale coming through.  This can greatly increase your odds of success and can really help move things forward when you need those funds quickly.  Once we receive those calls we alert our fraud department so they can be on the lookout.  Depending on the situation they will tell us whether we need to get backup materials or that everything will be okay.

Backup documentation such as the cardholder’s driver’s license or a photocopy of the card can be an instrumental tool when the sale amount is quite large and over your normal threshold.  Obviously, communication is the key and having a representative who will answer your call and will assist you with this type of problem is the first step in avoiding hours of frustration.

For additional questions or for more information on this topic, feel free to reach out to us at 602-635-6494 or visit us on the web at

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