Airtel Online Recharge: The Technical Facts

While the front-end of an online transaction is attractive, the back-end is equally interesting. There is the high-end technology behind the entire process though it doesn’t require one to be technically sound to understand the behind-the-scenes procedures.

A virtual payment system is a structure where financial or economic transaction happens enabled by the internet. Similar to the offline method or the in-person method, it involves acceptance of payments by a retail store from its customers, the only difference being that the former happens in a physical environment where the exchange of currency or money happens while in the latter case the money is transferred virtually using technology in real time.

To successfully carry out an online activity like Airtel online recharge, the commands pass through different distinct stages before the balance in your prepaid connection is recharged. Typically while conducting Airtel online recharge, the steps involved are:-

  1. The customer feeds his mobile number into the system – could be Airtel website or App or resellers’ site or App.
  2. The online merchant site or App gathers the payment information which is then forwarded to the merchant’s payment gateway.
  3. The payment gateway forwards the same information to the payment processor.
  4. The processor issues an authorization request with the subscriber’s bank to ensure the presence of the required amount in his account. In case the subscriber uses his credit card, the processor checks with the Issuing bank of the card. In case the subscriber uses his debit card or Net-banking, the processor cross-checks with the account holding bank of the subscriber.
  5. In case the available balance is present in the subscribers’ account, the issuing bank approves the transaction. If not, the bank rejects the authorization request.
  6. Depending on the bank’s reply – approval or disapproval – the processor informs the merchant’s bank about the status of the request.
  7. Accordingly, the bank informs the response to the merchant. The merchant site now accepts the transaction in case of approval and rejects the transaction in case of disapproval.

All the above steps are completed in a matter of few seconds. At the front-end, the transaction of Airtel online recharge is complete, as far as the subscriber is concerned. However, at the back-end, the merchant is yet to receive the actual payment. To complete the entire transaction, the merchant stores the transaction data and submits all relevant data on daily sales in a batch. Some merchants use manual checks of all the orders received to check for fraud or unauthorized transactions. Now the merchant sends the transactions that have all input in a batch by the processor to the merchant’s bank or the acquiring bank. The latter is responsible for collecting individual payments from the issuing banks and route the funds to the merchant’s bank account. This process at the back-end typically takes from 2 to 4 days.

The entire process is safe, secured and protected consuming lesser time, thereby making it not only customer friendly, merchant-friendly too.




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