Batch Header

Term – Batch Header

Summary – A batch header is a record or data structure which is typically used to oversee a batch of card present or card not present transactions in a merchant processing or cash discount program. As you can imagine, payment processors and banks handle significant volumes of transactions so they must group transactions together for efficiency purposes.

It is important to note that most of the time, a batch header contains several key pieces of information about the batch and content within it.

There are typically 8 different pieces of information in a batch header.

  1. Batch Identification: In the payment processing system, an identifier is provided to help in the management and tracking of batches. Each payment processor and bank may have different ways they generate this number.
  2. Processing Date & Time: Exactly as it sounds, this portion of content highlights the dat and time of the batch header file creation. While this seems basic, it is critical for reconciliation purposes.
  3. Batch Total: The batch header contains a batch total which is the sum of all transaction value within the batch.
  4. Batch Type: With several different types of cards such as credit cards, debit cards, EBT, etc.; it is important that the batch type is noted.
  5. Originator Information: The originator is the actual merchant who ran or accepted the payments from their client. In some instances the originator information is the business name or identification number which was created for that merchant.
  6. Destination Information: The batch header will have destination information which indicates where the batch will be sent.
  7. Control Information: This is a critical part of the batch file that you can view almost as instructions. It highlights how the file should be processed including checks and balances for fraud, duplicate transactions, and settlement.
  8. Security Information: Security is an important aspect to batch headers and some will have encryption keys, hashes to decrypt, digital signatures, or other means to secure the integrity of the batch data.

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