Real-time transactions and notifications explained 🛍

A little 101 on real-time transactions

Real-time transactions and notifications may be the latest and greatest technology to hit the FinTech industry, but that doesn’t mean the subject doesn’t need a bit of context. Here’s a bit of background to help you navigate your way to receiving notifications just seconds after a purchase is made.

What is Real-Time (RT)?

When you make a purchase and put your card into a point of sale (POS) machine, a series of events are triggered that scan the globe and hit multiple authorization checkpoints. The technology that powers this global payments network means that you can buy cheese in Italy and receive a notification of your transaction anywhere in the world seconds later, safely and securely. This process is what makes real-time notifications (RTN) possible.

At Fidel, we work directly with the three major cards schemes, Visa, Mastercard and American Express to make this process even faster and easier.

How to know if a brand location is set up to receive RT transactions?

If a brand location is setup to receive RT transactions, the RT symbol will automatically appear on the Fidel Dashboard next to the brand location under the Programs tab.

If the RT symbol is grey, the location has RT capabilities.

If the RT symbol is green, the location has RT capaiblites and a RT transaction has successfully been received by Fidel.

Example of how the RT symbol will appear on the Fidel Dashboard next to each brand location that is set up:

Is it possible to not receive a RT notification from a brand location setup with RT capabilities?

It’s rare, but there are edge cases in which transactions will not populate on the Fidel Dashboard in real-time, for brand locations setup for RT. Below are a few possibilities as to why this might happen.

  • When a card is linked for the first time, it can take up to 24 hours for the transaction notification to trigger. Therefore, an initial transaction will not receive a notification in RT.
  • Brand payment terminals can go offline temporarily. If this occurs at the time of the transaction, no RT notification will trigger.
  • From time to time, brands change the way they process payments. This may mean a change in their payment terminal, a new acquirer bank, implementation of new technology or other changes. When POS changes occur, it’s possible the brand location may no longer be setup to accept RT transactions.

Example of a real-time notification received seconds after a purchase is made:

We’re here to help! If you have any questions, just shoot us an email at .

Happy linking! :nerd_face:

The Fidel Team