The Check Transactions API makes it possible to send and receive money between U.S.A. bank accounts. It does this by using standards implemented by banks and the Federal Reserve for transferring money called ACH. It works through a account validation process, and then issuing the check. Settlement generally occurs within a few hours, when you can safely confirm that the transaction was successfully settled and funds deducted from the customer’s account.
Before starting up with actual API documentation, there are a few concepts that must be understood. On check card processing, there are two main concepts which are fundamental parts of how funds go from the customer’s account to the merchant’s bank. Those are:
Authorization which stands for performing a validation of the bank info, while not blocking funds from the customer’s account; That means the balance is still available for the customer and there’s no guarantee of deduction yet.
Settlement which stands for a process that usually happens every 2 hours, to get all the authorizations performed and group them in a batch of transactions, that are submitted to the processor for actually deducting the funds from the customer’s account. At this point, it is safe to allow access to product, that being shipping the product, or delivering a digital good / service.
In order to keep those two concepts completely manageable by the merchant, on PayCertify Gateway™ we have implemented a Transaction Event concept, which is an append-only log, that keeps the whole transaction lifecycle intact. There are two different types of events for check transactions:
sale which runs the authorization portion and the settlement portion, which is not real-time; meaning you will have to use the reporting endpoints to check for settlement later;
refund request that works basically as a cancellation of the check if the
sale didn’t settle, or an actual credit to the customer’s account if that transaction was already settled.