Credit card offline payments

During offline mode, you can still take credit card payments, as follows:

  • You can take swipe payments.

  • You can take quick-chip EMV payments. A quick-chip EMV payment has the card reader only check that it is a valid card application.

  • You cannot take full EMV payments. A full EMV payment has the card reader first check that it is a valid card application, then check with the card networks that the person has enough money for the transaction.

This means that if the device has an eDynamo or BBPOS card reader, it can take swipes or dips in offline mode.

Important

Toast strongly recommends that tablets that have taken offline payments be brought back online within three days, preferably within 24 hours. This is because as the time between payment acceptance (such as a swipe) and authorization increases, the risk of chargeback rises.

When you process a credit card payment in offline mode, the Toast platform takes the credit card information, encrypts it, and stores it on the device. When the device is back online, the system sends the stored credit card information to the credit card networks for authorization.

Important

There is a risk associated with taking offline payments because they cannot be verified until the internet connection is restored. This means that it is possible for an offline payment to be denied when your system goes back online. Please be aware that you are responsible for any declined, expired, or disputed payments while operating in offline mode. If this is a concern for you, you should disable credit card transactions during offline mode.

The following sections provide information on credit card transactions in offline mode.

Configuring offline credit card transactions

You can set the Enable Background Processing option to control whether your restaurant can still process credit card transactions when it has lost its internet connection. As part of the credit card payment workflow, the Toast platform makes a request to the credit card networks to authorize the payment. These authorization requests are processed in real time or in the background, depending on the setting of the Enable Background Processing option. Offline mode supports only authorization requests processed in the background, because the requests are queued during offline mode and then sent to the credit card networks when the internet connection is restored.

You can also set an upper limit to transaction amounts of offline credit card payments.

To configure credit card transactions for offline mode

  1. Access the Toast administration back-end.

  2. Select Payments > Payment methods > Payment options and then scroll down to the Background Processing of Transactions section.

  3. For the Enable Background Processing option, select a setting that determines whether payment transactions are processed in the background or in real time:

    • Yes, Fast Processing: Credit card transactions are always processed in the background in both online and offline modes. This option provides the fastest guest service because the payment workflow does not wait for authorization from the credit card networks before payment is applied to the check. The financial risk is that payment may be taken from a credit card that is later declined, leaving the restaurant to absorb the payment amount. This option is especially useful for quick service restaurants that have a high volume of transactions and are willing to accept the risk of losing a payment in exchange for optimal speed in processing the payment.

    • Yes, Offline Mode (recommended): Credit card transactions are processed in real time in online mode (like the No, Never option) and in the background in offline mode (like the Yes, Fast Processing option). This strategy provides both the low financial risk of real-time processing and the ability to take payments when you lose your connection. Toast recommends that you use this setting if you intend to accept orders during offline mode.

    • No, Never: Credit card transactions are always processed in real time, never as background processes. This option has the least financial risk because all credit card transactions are either authorized or denied by the credit card networks before the payment workflow finishes. Note that this setting does not accept credit card transactions while in offline mode.

  4. With the Transaction Limit when Offline option, you can optionally set a currency upper limit for credit card transactions taken in offline mode. Transactions over this thresholds are rejected by the Toast platform. Note that this threshold is not applied to employees who have the Offline/Background Credit Card Processing permission. A payment is denied if the employee who takes a payment over the transaction threshold does not have the Offline/Background Credit Card Processing permission.

  5. Save and publish your changes.

Disabling auto-capturing payments

The Toast platform auto-captures credit card payments every night after closeout. The credit card payments authorized throughout the day are captured into a batch to be processed. Once this process occurs, the payments cannot be updated with tips or otherwise adjusted in any way.

If your tablet is in offline mode and an auto-capture is approaching, contact Toast support to disable auto-capture temporarily until your internet connection is re-established. Disabling auto-capture ensures that Toast does not capture your credit card payments until you have properly updated them, such as entering credit card tips.

Card pre-authorization

In offline mode, the Toast platform cannot communicate with credit card payment processors. Therefore, if you are using the credit/debit card pre-authorization feature, cards cannot be pre-authorized in offline mode.

However, if a card was pre-authorized before going into offline mode, the card information is preserved and can be used as a form of payment when online mode returns. As with any credit card payment, if you close a check using the Saved CC option in offline mode that was pre-authorized before going offline, it will be processed after the device comes back online