MIT Ecommerce HomeOrder Entry, Management and Reporting:
Using OMARS, the ClearCommerce front-end, for order management and reporting

OMARS (Orders, Management, and Reporting Services) is a set of back-office tools used by merchants to enter and manage credit card payments for orders. The Order Entry service is used for entering credit card orders. The Order Management service is used for processing orders and any follow-up transactions, such as voids and credits, associated with those orders. The reporting services are used for running reports of order activity.

About Orders and Transactions

Order and Transaction

Before using the OMARS tools, it is important to understand the life cycle of orders and the difference between orders and transactions. An order is a record of a request for goods or services inititated by a customer. An order may encompass one or more transactions. Each transaction is a record of an action that is taken on an order. For example, an order may have an initial transaction to authorize the credit card. Then, a second transaction would be initiated to capture the order, and mark it for settlement. Any follow-up events, such as credits to the order would be listed as separate transactions against that order.

Transaction Type

The merchant may select whether their transactions are to be processed as PreAuth or Auth transactions.

A PreAuth, or pre-authorized transaction is one for which the customer's credit card has been authorized, but payment has not yet been processed. Typically, PreAuth transactions are used when an order is to be fulfilled, for example, a physical good to be shipped. Once the good has been shipped, the transaction is post-authorized, or fulfilled, which initiates payment.

An Auth transaction in which the credit card is pre-authorized and post-authorized in one step.

Transaction Status

At points during its life cycle, a transaction may reflect one of the following statuses:

Authorized - a PreAuth transaction that has been authorized, but not yet fulfilled.

Captured - a transaction that has been fulfilled and is awaiting settlement. A captured transaction can be either an Auth transaction or a Pre-Auth that has been fulfilled.

Settled - a captured transaction that has been sent to the bank for processing. At this point, the money has changed hands between the merchant and the cardholder. MIT settles all captured orders automatically once a day at midnight.



Access Control

You must have an MIT personal certificate to access the OMARS tools. Merchant administrators define which staff members have access to each service. More information including instructions on obtaining certificates is available from Web Certificates at MIT.

Policy on Storing Credit Card Information

It is MIT's policy to not store credit card information any longer than is needed to process the transaction. Credit card numbers will be removed from the ClearCommerce server as soon as the transaction is settled. Merchants are advised not to store the customers' credit card numbers in any of their systems or in paper form.


Order Entry

Order Entry is used only for creating orders. Merchants typically use Order Entry for entering orders that the client places via phone, fax, or in person.

Order Entry is designed to be customized for each merchant, to reflect the identity and special needs of their operation.

When setting up Order Entry for a particular store, the merchant chooses whether the Transaction Type is defaulted or can be selected by the person entering the order. The Transaction Type can default to either Pre-Auth or Auth. . If a Pre-Auth is either defaulted or selected, the order will need further processing in Order Management.

The merchant may also choose to have orders classified in certain ways.

The merchant must also determine what other fields are required based on the nature of the business. For example, if goods are to be delivered, the merchant will require shipping address fields. Goods may or may not incur tax or shipping charges. The merchant may also request a "comment" field, which may be used for additional information about the order, such as a cross-reference to another database or fulfillment system.

Order Management

The Order Management tool allows merchants to display all orders that were successfully entered and process any necessary follow-on transactions, such as fulfillments, voids, and credits.

When a merchant user first calls up the Order Management page, the user determines what orders to display based on a set of search criteria. Options include displaying a single order number or a list of orders for a particular day or time span. Note that the "time" of an order is when it was first entered, so last month's order won't show up in this month's list even if there was activity on it this month.

When setting up an Order Management query, the merchants can decide to "filters" to show only orders to be fulfilled.

The result of the search is a list of all orders that meet the criteria of the search. Here, the merchant may display the detail of an order and/or take additional actions. To drill down on the detail of the order, click on the Order ID. The order detail will display the information that was entered for the order, all transactions that are associated with the order, and the status of those transactions.

Actions that can be taken on applicable orders include:

  • Fulfill - If the order is entered as a Pre-Auth, the merchant must fulfill it when the good has been shipped or the service has been delivered. Fulfillment processes the payment on the customer's credit card. Orders that are entered as Auth transactions are immediately fulfilled.

    Orders may be fulfilled for the full or partial amount of the total order. A merchant would do a partial fulfillment of an order if, for example, two items were ordered, yet only one has been delivered. In this case, the merchant would fulfill the amount of the item that has been shipped. Once the second item is shipped, the merchant may fulfill the remaining amount. (Note that this is applicable only if the ClearCommerce store is configured for follow-on transactions.) To initiate a partial fulfillment, the merchant must drill down to the order detail by clicking on the Order ID. Partial fulfillments cannot be initiated by clicking on the radio button on the Order Management List page.
  • Credit - Credits may be issued in the following cases:
    • The customer has changed his or her mind, for example, has returned the item
    • The merchant has mistakenly charged the customer twice for the same order

    When issuing credits, the customer's credit card number must be re-entered.

    Credits cannot be issued for more than the captured amount of an order. Credit transactions will appear on the customer's credit card statement. It is possible to credit a partial amount of an order. For example, if two items were ordered and one of those items is returned, the merchant can enter a credit for only the amount of the item returned. To initiate a partial credit, the merchant must drill down to the order detail by clicking on the Order ID. Partial credits cannot be initiated by clicking on the radio button on the Order Management List page.

  • Void - Voids are used to reverse an authorized or credited transaction that has not yet been settled. Typically, voids are issued on the same day an order or transaction is entered and are used to correct a mistaken charge or credit. Voided transactions will not appear on the customer's credit card statement. It is not possible to partially void an order. As a general rule, if a charge must be reversed on the same day as the original transaction was entered, it is easier and cleaner to void the transaction than to credit it.

Transaction and Settlement Reporting

The Transaction and Settlement report tools allow merchants to generate transaction reports in HTML format to display in a web browser or Tab-Separated Value (TSV) file format to open in an Excel spreadsheet. On the first screen, merchants select the parameters for the report, including:

  • Time period.
    Options include:
    • Today
    • Yesterday
    • This Week
    • Last Week
    • This Month
    • Last Month
    • Last x Days
    • Date Range
  • Card Types.
    Options include:
    • All Cards
    • All But American Express
    • American Express Only
    Note that First Data reports American Express activity separately from other card types. To facilitate reconciliation, some merchants find it helpful to report on American Express transactions separately from other transactions.
  • Output format.
    Options include:
    • Tab-Separated Values (TSV) for spreadsheets
    • HTML for Web Browser
    Note that merchant may select whether or not to include column headings on TSV report
  • Columns to Show
    When the report is initially configured, the merchant may select which columns appear as the default. At the time the report is run, merchants may change the options selected. Options include:
    • Transaction ID
    • Date
    • Entry Clerk
    • Billing Name
    • Ship-To Name
    • Authorized Amount
    • Captured Amount
    • Settled Amount
    • Collected Amount
    • Span
    • Order ID
    • Order Comments
    Note that the more columns are selected, the longer the report will take to run. Columns that take the most time to gather data for the report are marked with an asterisk "(*)" on the report screen.