CardConnect allows merchants the flexibility to accept their own proprietary, closed loop gift cards for customer purchases. If you want to include closed loop gift cards in your accepted payment methods, review the following information to get started.
Gift Card Requirements
Before you begin, check with your gift card printer to verify that your gift cards meet the following requirements:
- Cards must include a magnetic-stripe to provide track 2 data.
- Cards numbers must pass Luhn algorithm verification.
- Card numbers must not start with 9.
- You must provide CardConnect with a unique Bank Identification Number (BIN) range for your gift cards. This range must not overlap any other BIN ranges.
If you currently use gift cards that do not meet all of these requirements, or if they are in a different BIN range, you will not be able to accept those gift cards.
How it Works
Accepting gift cards with your existing CardConnect solutions is simple, provided your cards meet the stated requirements.
If you are using Bolt to process payments, you can use a readCard or readManual request to initiate a gift card transaction. When the gift card is swiped or manually entered at a Bolt terminal, Bolt matches the BIN with the range of BINs for your gift cards and returns an unencrypted clear text card number, which your point-of-sale software uses to complete the transaction.
Unlike a credit or debit card transaction, Bolt does not encrypt or tokenize the card number.
If your software directly integrates the CardSecure API, your software passes the gift card number to CardSecure, which matches the BIN with the whitelisted BIN range and returns the unencrypted card number.
Unlike a credit or debit card transaction, CardSecure does not encrypt or tokenize the card number.
Establishing a BIN Range
Before you can begin to accept gift card payments, you must provide CardConnect with the BIN range used to identify your gift cards. CardConnect uses this information to whitelist the specific BIN range, allowing CardSecure to return unencrypted clear text data to your point-of-sale software.
Contact CardConnect Support to get started.
The BIN range that you provide must be unique, and must not overlap any other BIN range.
Loading a Gift Card
When a customer purchases a gift card, the merchant initiates an authorization request using the customer's payment card. The authorization response data can then be used to update the merchant's ledger to include the transaction amount, the total amount added to the gift card, the quantity of gift cards, issued gift card numbers, and any additional identifying information for the transaction.
Accepting a Payment
When a customer presents a gift card for payment, the payment request process is similar to accepting a credit or debit card payment. For example, your point-of-sale software initiates a readCard request using the Bolt API, and the card is swiped or dipped at the Bolt terminal. Bolt then matches the gift card BIN with the range of BINs that you provided, and returns the unencrypted clear text card number to your point-of-sale software. From there, your software completes the transaction.
In the event that the gift card balance is insufficient to cover the full amount of the transaction, your software will need to initiate a second request to complete the transaction using another payment method.
Managing Gift Card Transactions
Because these gift card transactions take place within a closed loop, no settlement or funding data is passed to an issuing bank. Instead, it is the merchant or partner's responsibility to manage gift card transaction and funding data. By integrating with the CardPointe Gateway API and Bolt P2PE API your software can retrieve the data necessary for you to manage your general ledger, and to ensure that funds are transferred from the gift card to the merchant.
For general inquiries or support for integrating gift cards into your CardConnect payment solution, contact email@example.com.