Alternate numbers are usually provided to reduce, but far from eliminate, busy signals.
The retailer is connected to the data entry operator at a credit card authorization center at a financial institution, a bank card association, or most frequently a commercial vendor. The data entry operator enters the authorization request into the local host processor. The authorization process first checks against a negative data base (lost, stolen, hot, closed, etc.) accounts.
The process next checks to see if the account is held locally. If not held locally, the transaction is transmitted through credit card data interchange networks to the appropriate authorization center.
Financial institutions establish individual criteria (i.e., maximum transaction amount, number of transactions per account per day, etc.) for credit card authorization center approval.
Authorization transactions not meeting pre-established criteria are routed to the client financial institution of credit card authorization transactions and are transmitted to the retailer either via the data terminal-data entry operator or increasingly more frequently by audio response units.
Once connection is made, voice initiated credit card authorizations are accomplished in from 10-40 seconds. Use of audio response units reduce average transaction time by approximately 25%.
A wide variety of retail authorization terminals are used to access multiple credit card voice and data authorization networks.
The terminals contain modems and automatic dialing capability to speed up the connection process.