NetSuite Video Demonstration: Accept Credit Cards

This article is relevant if you would like to quickly understand how the Prolecto Credit Card SuiteLet offers NetSuite users the ability to have their customers pay with credit cards.

Background

Many first-time NetSuite users are surprised to find that there is no customer-friendly way to send a web hyperlink to a customer to ask them to pay for an outstanding invoice with a credit card. To be fair, NetSuite does have a credit card payment option with the built-in NetSuite Customer Center. However, I have found very few of our clients use it because a) providing a login for the NetSuite Customer Center is too cumbersome — especially for one-time payments; and b) the customer user experience is not friendly — it is difficult to change to make it easier to use.

Introducing the Prolecto Credit Card SuiteLet

NetSuite provides to all users a SuiteCloud API which allows subscribers the ability to program SuiteLets (database driven web pages) to drive user-experiences. Because my firm specializes in NetSuite Systems Integration, we are very comfortable extending NetSuite using the customization tools and related software frameworks.

A couple of years ago, a client came to us demanding “you must give us a better customer experience to collect a credit card payment”. To satisfy this challenge, using NetSuite supplied technology, we built an anonymous SuiteLet web page (no login needed) so that we can securely collect a credit card and apply a payment to an invoice. In the spirit of that very first request, like all the ways we work in our firm, we give our clients all previously built software to drive their success. Thus, we knew that other clients would need this ability to collect credit card payments and thus it was natural to bundle up the SuiteLet technology to make it easier to distribute to others.

Credit Card SuiteLet Evolution

The Suitelet started with a simple request to pay an open invoice via a credit card. From this initial inception, a number of different clients demanded more. I now get so many new inquiries about this software that I thought it would be important to put together this article to help illustrate what is possible. Certainly, over time, I expect that the software, as it currently has been built, will become more sophisticated.

As you review this article, consider that there are many different ways to process payments — and as such, our role as a professional services firm is to get the right fit. Here is a link to the bundle and other reference articles:

  1. Prolecto Credit Card Suitelet
  2. Accept Credit Cards without a NetSuite Web Site
  3. Ease the CyberSource to NetSuite Reconciliation Effort
  4. Exploring NetSuite Credit Card and Invoicing / Cash Sale Processing Options
  5. [cref accept-credit-cards-in-netsuite-via-a-customer-statement]

Three Major Operating Modes

As the software is currently available, I think about the Credit Card Suitelet able to operate in three different modes:

  1. Minimal Investment: in this mode, which was our original inception, we can quickly accept the payment of a NetSuite invoice or open customer balance via standard built-in NetSuite credit card payment gateway setups. By supplying a reference to a company logo, we can present a clean yet functional web page to securely collect a credit card, store the credit card in NetSuite’s secure credit card wallet and then charge a payment transaction. Where we can, we automatically apply the payment to the invoice — else we leave the payment unapplied. This mode assumes a USD currency and a single subsidiary.
  2. Branded Experience: We extended the capacities of the minimal investment mode to allow our clients to get control over the branding experience and the messaging. In this mode, we built a mechanism to support multiple subsidiaries and multiple currencies. While a greater investment, the control produces a tailored experience.  To help you see this branded experience, we created a very quick demonstration video (0:52).
  3. Branded Cash Applicator: More recently, a significant investment was made by a client to “go all out” and produce a user experience that allows the end customer to see all open invoices and credit memos, present them in an aging customer statement fashion, select which invoices and credit memos to pay, control the use and updates of credit cards on file, and determine the final amount to apply against all selected transactions. I like to think about this mode as your customer acting as your cash receipt clerk.

Additional Transaction Types

While there are three modes of operations, our clients have further pushed us to drive the way we collect and account for payments:

  1. Opportunity or Estimate: we can drive a customer to a web page to effectively “pay an opportunity and estimate” which we record as a customer deposit. If desired, we then transform the opportunity or estimate into a Sales Order.
  2. Sales Order: Like the opportunity or estimate, we can also request to “pay a sales order”. This too will create a related customer deposit record. Using our RSM tool (see article, Learn How to Build Scalable NetSuite Sales Order Practices), we can approve the sales order and release the order for fulfillment.
  3. Cash Sales: we can take a sales order and drive it to a Cash Sale while we collect payment. I am generally cautious about this approach as I usually want to have a conversation about revenue recognition policies.
  4. Cash Payments: as noted above, our most fundamental mode is to create a cash payment record and, where possible, apply the funds to open invoices (and other credit memos).

Driving the User Experience and Business Process

With the mixtures of different use modes and transaction types, it is no wonder that a bit of guidance is needed to “get it right”. One typically needs to contemplate the following questions:

  1. Link Promotion: how do we want to inform the customer that they can pay via hyperlink? Do we create a link to a PDF, via an email, or other? Sometimes this opens up the questions and opportunities to “clean up” the customer invoice presentation.
  2. Link Tamper Rules: how do we make sure that a link is only valid for a limited time? How do we prevent the link from being used in a non-intentional manner?
  3. Communications: how do we inform the customer that a payment has been accepted? What do we do if the credit card company declines the payment?
  4. Dependent Transaction Processing: how do we trigger additional record updates when a credit card payment is accepted? A great example of this was mentioned: We know a customer is actually committed to buying the goods when they give us a deposit on a NetSuite estimate. Thus we turn the estimate into a sales order once we get full payment.

Drive NetSuite as You Intend

Many NetSuite customers understand that NetSuite can be adapted. But what is often missing is talent that can listen to concerns, provide thoughtful guidance, perform what is needed, and standby to help in the future. Sometimes, it’s relatively simple functionality, like the Credit Card Suitelet discussed here, that gives us an opportunity to get to know each other. If you think that we can make a difference with your credit card processing, let’s have a conversation.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to setup a conversation.

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