A Batch Authorization Transaction System, or BATS, is a system designed for a particular type of merchant who needs the flexibility of submitting batches for authorization on an irregular or specific time schedule. Merchant account members don’t have to exclusively use BATS for all credit card processing batches. Occasional use is permitted. To understand the full importance of BATS, one must first understand the definition and purpose of a batch.
A batch is a collection of unsettled sale transactions grouped together. This eases the organizational process by categorizing a day’s work into batches. Should a problem arise and specific data must be retrieved from a particular transaction, merchant’s can sort through batches to narrow down the search field of information. This is a security measure as much as it is for functionality. Should a questionable transaction occur, time is of the essence when retrieving the information.
What makes the batch authorization transaction system unique is its built-in flexibility for merchant account members. If they wish to process their own transactions, for example by mail order, this gives them that freedom. Credit card processing is a vast field with many functions and services it provides. By having BATS in place, merchants can still authorize transactions, submit their totals, batch their work and continue on to the next business day all at their own pace.
Of course, not every credit card processing system needs to use batches. Some merchants conduct their business in “real time”, electronically submitting each transaction for processing as the day goes on. Examples of businesses that may not benefit from the batch authorization transaction system are those related to travel and entertainment. The hotel industry is another example. Businesses like gas stations that don’t know the exact amount of a pre-authorized transaction right up front do much better with batching transactions at the end of the day. A processing company would know best which business is right for batching, BATS or real time processing. For more information, seek advice from you processor to find the best method of conducting your credit card processing and other transaction-oriented needs.