While rare, occasionally a transaction will fail when the property attempts to settle credit cards. This can happen due to a guest exceeding their credit limit after the properties auth has expired, a card being canceled prior to settlement, a security 'hold' by the card holder's bank, or other reasons.
When this happens the Night Auditor will get a warning when trying to settle credit cards:
"At least one transaction in the batch was not able to settle. The BookingCenter Support staff has been notified about this and will contact the property during the banking business day to attempt a re-settlement of the batch. There is no need to contact support, as we will be in touch during bank hours to assist"
If this occurs you may continue to run Night Audit as normal, and the BookingCenter support staff will assist during banking hours on the next business day.
When a bad batch occurs, BookingCenter staff will isolate the errant transaction and reverse the payment to the appropriate folio. This will cause a line item to be added to the original folio with the appropriate card type and a description of "Batch Settlement Failure". In the example shown below, the folio was originally paid with an Amex for $64.70. Upon batch failure, the payment was reversed to the folio as a $-64.70.
30-APR-2010 26-APR-2010 jesse American Express 8431 (*note - this is the card holder's AmEx card ending in 8431) American Express 1 $-64.70
30-APR-2010 26-APR-2010 BookingCenter American Express (*note - the reversal was not posted to a specific AmEx, just the original 'Credit Card Type') Batch Settlement Failure 1 $64.70
When this 'reversal' posted, the folio will now be out of balance and you must contact the guest for an alternate method of payment, or write off the noncollectable before you can progress Night Audit. It is also possible that the errant settlement was a CREDIT you were applying to a credit card (as opposed to a charge), in which case there is a balance owing on the folio.
In the case of a closed House Account, should a transaction fail, the House Account folio will be re-opened with the Batch Settlement Failure reversal and the out of balance amount will be trapped at Night Audit to be reconciled.
One common way to deal with these 'out of balance' folios, if you can not get appropriate alternative payment from the Guest, simply use 'Write Off' as the Payment method and declare it as a loss.