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Independent Refunds, Payments Not Linked To An Order

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Sending the entire credit card number and expiry date is now known an INDEPENDENT REFUND. This allows a merchant to refund any amount to any customer using and card even if:
  • the amount refunded is more that the original authorization
  • the card number is different than the one used for original authorization

An independent refund means you must supply the full credit card number and expiry. You either have this (because it is encrypted on the database) or you ask the customer for it.

If you have shredded old cards and do not have it encrypted on the database, then you cannot do an independent refund. It will need to be a linked refund (which is generally preferable for the credit card companies)

Bambora and Elavon (Miami-Dade) do not support this feature and only allows linked refunds

To our knowledge, all other merchant providers support independent refunds and some require this permission to be specifically requested.

Conditions Action or Workaround
You must have:
  • stored encrypted credit card data in your database or
  • contact the patron to get the card number
Verify that your PCI Settings in Default Data is PCI Schedule D, with many days of retention since last use of card.
  • The retention period must be at least as far back as you need to go since TM automatically shreds credit cards.
  • For example, if you have 180 days of retention, any card authorized before that cannot be refunded and you will need to contact the owner to get the card and re-enter it.
  • However, most cards in a mass refund should work without issue.
  • If you don't have the encrypted card data for a patron, you must contact them to get the card number to refund to
Some merchant providers require you to sign up for INDEPENDENT REFUNDS. Contact your merchant provider to ensure that you have this feature enabled if you need to do mass refunds. You can call your merchant provider after and disable it when done.

eg: Moneris gives a distinct error if you do not have the feature.

End of day may appear out of balance for Authorize.net Authorize.net processes refunds right away. If you do a lot of refunds before the sweep time and settle end of day after the sweep time, you may be told that you are out of balance by what seems to be the total amount of your refunds.
Refund rejected because card is shredded If you see a message saying that the card was rejected because no encrypted card is on file, then you are trying to do an independent refund.

Instead, change the setting in your merchant profile to allow linked refunds first.