Pre-Authorization data for completions and reversals and removal of Track II Data

Late last week I received a email detailing a few message format specification changes for a processing gateway interface that OLS.Switch connects to. It discussed changes to the required data elements required for “match-up”, the data required in the original transaction that one must return in a reversal response message or in completion messages. We leverage Host Reversals (note: these are not the same as refunds) when we don’t recieve a response from an authorizer for remove authorization, most typically on a time-out scenarios. We don’t know if the processor accepted the transaction and we just didn’t receive the response or if the processor never received the original transaction at all. In cases like these we are obligated to send reversal messages, to reverse the transaction. In a credit world where there are large open-to-buys and credit limits and expiring authorizations, this is less of a deal with debit. In the debit world mistakes here case pain for cardholders and duplicate charges occur. We SAF (Store and Forward) our reversals and retry for a set period of time with delay intervals until we receive an acknowledgment that our reversal transaction was received. Completions can be forced sales or post authorization transactions, or in certain industries completions with updated amounts that differ then the authorization (Think restaurant tip and gas pumps transactions here.)

The changes are listed below:

Track 2 data is no longer required for completion, reversal or void transaction types. With the elimination of the Track 2 Data (Field ID 35) these transaction types will now require the Account Number (Field ID 02) and Expiration Date (Field ID 14) to be provided. All clients should make these modifications prior to your next PCI assessment.

This is great news, the is one of the last processing gateways that we interface with that required the ISO8583 Data Element 35 - Track 2 Data for reversals and completions. If you ever noted the specific wording in the PCI DSS specification about “subsequent to the authorization” this is part of why I believe that wording was left there. The issue with this is while SAF queues are normally located in memory - there are times when they can be configured to be persisted to disk (If they are not, think of the cardholder impact of duplicate charges) This is less data, specifically pre-authorization data that is required to be stored prior to the authorization. We have leveraged “encrypted spaces” to help protect all types of SAF Queues and are happy Track 2 Data is not required for match-ups any more - Ideally, and we hope that processors will take this a step further and remove the requirement of sending the PAN, and leverage other unique transaction identifiers or composite identifiers: Take a look at one our our “FindOriginal” Transaction Participants for a MasterCard Interface:

CriteriaImpl(TranLog:this[][date>=Thu Sep 17 09:11:41 CDT 2009, irc=1816, stan=000000087625, originalItc=100.00, acquirer=987654999, mid=123456789012345, tid=12234501, banknetReference=MQWWRJ4QW ])

No Card Number there !

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