Batch or Batch Processing
A batch is a collection of transactions, usually a single day’s worth. Batch processing refers to closing or settling the entire batch of transactions at one time. The point-of-sale terminal or credit card processing software can be set on manual batch close or automatic batch close. If on manual batch close, the merchant will need to batch out at the end of each day. This sends a command to the processor to settle all transactions that have been entered. Once a batch is settled, a report is usually printed showing the transaction totals in the batch. Before a batch is settled, changes can be made to existing transactions in the batch. For example, one may want to void a transaction, or change an amount of one of the transactions. Changing the amount is typically done for a merchant that enters tips, such as a restaurant. In the case of tips, the amount of the transaction is adjusted to include the tip before the batch is closed. In automatic batch close, no manual intervention is needed by the merchant. Instead the terminal or software will automatically close the batch (settle the transactions) at a certain time each day, or in some case the processor will settle the batch at the processor level (this type of settlement is called host batch close). It is advisable for most businesses to be setup on automatic batch close unless for some reason a tip edit function is required, in which case manual batch close would be the better option. Many processors will charge a small fee, usually equal to a single transaction fee, at the time when the batch is closed.
Other articles terms explained in the Merchant Glossary: