Account Control Number – ECN Mistakes
Account Control Number – ECN Mistakes
An Account Control Number (ACN) is a unique identifier assigned to organizations that are registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The data in an ACN includes: the name of the organization, its location, its purpose, its type, and more. These are all basic information required by financial institutions when accepting credit card payments.
The data in an Account Control Number (ACN) includes: the name of the organization, its location, its purpose, its type, and more. These are all basic information required by financial institutions when accepting credit card payments.
Unfortunately, these numbers are also the only way that most online or telephone vendors and online payment processors know how to transmit or process the transaction, because each online merchant or online payment processor has its own unique set of rules about what to do with the customer's funds once the payment has been successfully transmitted. This means that if an online vendor receives an ACN for an online merchant that doesn't contain the full details about the transaction and the payment, the vendor may misinterpret the transaction and transmit the payment as the customer's funds and not as the customer's purchase, which could result in the customer being held responsible for fraudulent activity.
An ACN can be a critical piece of data in setting up a secure transaction on your website or in sending an electronic payment, so the importance of having accurate and valid data in your site's details is even greater than you might think. If you aren't doing it right, your customers could be exposing themselves to security risks by using your site and could also lose money by not paying for their purchase, which could result in the loss of all the money in their account.
Not all transactions require a successful payment. Sometimes a merchant will simply transfer funds into a "backup" account and use an ACN to send the customer's payment to a merchant-specific account.
In this new credit card processing environment, it is important to avoid situations where your business could be affected by errors. An ACN is a vital and complex piece of data. It is important that your site contains only complete and correct data and that you can verify the accuracy of this data before accepting credit card payments.
There are many reputable merchant account processors that do a great job of helping you to validate the accuracy of your ACN data. Most have implemented strict compliance to ensure that your site is free from any errors and that you are receiving accurate data, at all times.
Check with your favorite credit card processing company to find out if they offer such services. If not, there are always alternative ways of verifying the accuracy of your data.
It is easy for an ACN to be mis-typed, for a vendor to send an incorrect ACN to the customer, or for a customer to send an incorrect ACN to the merchant. These may all occur in an instant and often without the business' knowledge.
Data can become incorrect when a vendor transfers funds from a credit card to a third party. When a merchant transfers funds, the merchant's accounts often include a one-time charge to "lock" funds for a specific period of time.
Other errors can occur when merchant account providers are unable to correctly parse credit card data. Some vendors are unable to properly parse information when transferring funds into a merchant account, and they sometimes accidentally transfer funds that should not be transferred.
Whether you are responsible for a successful transaction or a failed transaction, your site's address and other data, including your account control number, are important to the merchant and should be kept accurate and updated at all times. When you make it easy for your customers to verify your data, and when you follow the industry standard guidelines for validating the accuracy of your data, your site is less likely to be mis-typed or mis-transmitted and your customers will appreciate knowing the real truth about what happens when they purchase online.