Credit and Debit Cards

Stratus offers a turn key, fully PCI DSS compliant system that allows the acceptance of all major credit and debit cards. Not all merchant account providers are the same, and the decision is more significant than most realize. Stratus understands the many complexities of online payment processing and can help you navigate the challenges that merchants might face when accepting debit and credit card payments.

Debit Card Only

Stratus’s payment processing platform allows merchants in a wide range of industries to only accept debit cards. The merchant can broaden payment choices without exposing them to additional risk.

Check Processing | ACH

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an electronic debit or credit transaction using a bank account, however not an electronic “check”. ACH transactions do not use a physical check or recreation of a physical check (electronic check/Check21). ACH is a direct draft from the consumers bank account.

  • A benefit of ACH is that it does not require a check # and it does not require the printing/scanning of an electronically created check or the scanning or physical deposit of a mailed-in check. ACH can draft a checking account or savings account. You don't have to worry about the image of the electronic check being too light or distorted due to faulty scanning of the check.

  • The downside of ACH is it is subject to Nacha Regulation E which states if you are postdating a payment more than 5 days or scheduling payment plans, then you are required to receive permission, and give notification and authentication with each postdated payment. The consumer must have disclosure of the plan, and sign and return the executed document confirming a payment plan before the first payment can be drafted. Our e-Sign product can help you manage this process. If you do not postdate payments more than 5 days, then ACH is a good option to save time with printing and scanning. Stratus offers ACH specific scripts for agent use while processing an ACH payment, as well as assistance in generating consumer letters for postdated payments. Audits can also be more intense in preparation and documentation of ACH payments.

Check Processing | Check 21

Check 21 is the recreation of a physical check into digital form which is electronically sent to the bank. It is not an automated draft of the bank account (ACH), however Check21 replicates a check just as though the consumer wrote and signed the check themselves.

  • The biggest advantage for using Check 21 is that it is not subject to Nacha Regulation E as ACH is. Notification is not required for postdated payments after 5 days or for payment plans.

  • The downside of Check 21 is that new regulations state the “electronic check” must be printed, then scanned. The scanned image of the printed electronic check is then sent to the bank. This adds extra time to the process, and depending on how high your check volume is, the extra time could be considerable. (The Stratus application will print 5 checks to a page, no special ink or paper needed, however still takes additional time). Also, the scanner that scans the checks must be producing an image that is acceptable to the bank, so scanner settings are very important. If image is too light, or if the MICR line is cut off, or the endorsement is too dark, the check could be returned for bad image quality.

Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) / Flexible Savings Account (FSA)

Stratus provides its customers the ability to accept Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Account (FSA) cards. This is critical for companies providing receivables management services on healthcare accounts. Stratus has been providing these services for years and is certified to the HIPAA administrative safeguards and standards.