Description: It's Your Card (IYC) gift cards are able to be redeemed for more than the balance of the card, forcing a larger amount onto the card. This article covers the two options for performing this action and how it will reflect that the gift card redemption was forced for a higher amount than the card balance.
The Authorization Hold setting in Lighthouse Transaction Manager (LTM) determines how many days an authorization against an IYC for a certain dollar amount will reduce the amount of the available balance until the transaction is settled or the authorization hold is released.
This setting is configurable in LTM. To verify, you can log into LTM as the Account Administrator and go to It’s Your Card > Settings. The authorization hold should be set for an integer that is greater than 0. The default setting is 0, but the page will no longer save with the authorization hold set to 0. The customer should choose a setting that will ensure that the authorization hold is not released prior to their next batch settlement time. For example, if the customer does not batch from LTM on weekends, they would want an authorization hold of at least three days to ensure that the hold will remain on the funds over the weekend until all sales can be settled.
If the customer has 0 for this setting, then an IYC gift card could potentially be authorized for more than the actual balance on the card. For example, if a cardholder has a gift card with a balance of $100.00 and makes a purchase at the customer’s retail location for $75.00, the authorization hold is immediately released. Since the LTM batch has not been closed, there is no authorization hold and the balance of the card is not reduced. The cardholder could make an additional purchase or purchases for the full $100.00 balance of the card until the batch is settled. If there was an authorization hold in the example above, the available balance on the card would be reduced to $25.00.
To see the negative balance on the card, you need to be logged in as a user with administrative IYC rights. Go to It’s Your Card > Lookup, enter the card number, and select Lookup. When the card comes up, go to the bottom of the page and select Edit Card Information. There will be a balance listed on this page and will reflect any negative balance.
A forced redemption can happen when an authorization code is manually keyed in. The option for manually entering an authorization code happens when an authorization request, or redemption request, in this case, gets a referral response. A referral means that the card has a balance, but not enough to cover the total amount of the sale. If the clerk enters an authorization code rather than checks the balance of the card, it will make the redemption look like a valid sale with IYC. When the batch containing the IYC transactions is closed, the balance will be reduced for each transaction. It is possible for a card to have a negative balance but when doing a balance/status inquiry on the card, it will show the balance of $0.00.
A non-administrator user can validate a negative balance by attempting to load $0.01 to the card, followed by an additional balance inquiry. If the balance inquiry continues to show $0.00, the card had a balance less than $0.00 prior to the load. If it increases to $0.01 there was no negative balance.