Should you have an imprinter on hand?
Most businesses seem to think that an old fashioned knuckle buster is not needed. Most merchants don’t want to purchase a manual imprinter, but this decision can end up costing them more in the long run. There are situations in which a credit card imprint is required for proof of the transaction.
One example of such relates to non-swiped transactions. Manually keyed transactions typically occur when the magnetic reader on the card doesn’t work or if an order is taken over the telephone. Visa and MasterCard regulations require that a manual credit card imprint be taken whenever possible and that the cardholder signs the imprint. This will provide proof that the card was present during the time of sale or delivery.
Another example would be if there was an equipment failure. When this occurs, a manual imprint and voice authorization is required. During a voice authorization a transaction will be entered into the terminal as a “post authorization” with the 10-digit authorization number keyed, and the funds are reserved for 10 days. If the transaction is never keyed into the terminal, then the transaction will never be processed. Again, keeping the signed manual imprint is your proof that the customer was present at the time of the sale.
Getting an imprint of the credit card in the above situation would assist greatly in the event of a dispute or a chargeback. Visa requires that merchants keep all sales receipts for up three years and MasterCard requires you to keep receipts for 180 days. When a Retrieval Request occurs, your sales imprint will come in handy. A Retrieval Request is when the cardholder’s bank requests a copy of your sales draft. If you obtained an imprint of the card, you will be better prepared. So next time you are asked if you need an old fashioned knuckle buster, your answer should be yes.