Forte Payments

Forte Payment Systems (sometimes known as Agile payments) offers merchants a broad range of payment solutions, including credit card and debit card processing, ACH/eCheck origination, check verification, and fraud prevention. Through superior customer service and industry-leading technology, Forte helps organizations of all sizes grow and prosper by reducing transaction costs, mitigating risk, and increasing efficiencies.

In the US, Forte charges no setup fee. Credit Card processing has fees of $10/month and Interchange+0.25% and 28c per transaction (Interchange is the fee charged by the Card issuer such as Visa or Mastercard and varies by card type).  Fees for ACH are $10/m plus 30c per transaction.  Additional service and charge-back fees apply.  Settlement is 4 working days.  Amounts are settled gross, with fees collected at the end of the month from your account.  Different fees apply in Canada – see below.

Forte is our preferred US & Canadian gateway.

Creating your Forte Account

Please create your uCollect account, connect to your accounting ledger and then contact uCollect Support for further instructions.  

Please note that Forte accounts are mono-currency. All US accounts will only be able to collect in USD and Canadian accounts will only be able to collect in CAD. This applied to credit cards as well.

Once your account has been setup you should receive an email from Forte by email inviting you to access Dex (their console - this is NOT the same as the Virtual Terminal - look for an email titled "You are invited to join Dex" and click on the "Activate Dex Now" button - this expires in 7 days from sending).  Once you have created your login you should see your organization listed on the home screen.  Follow these instructions to get the credentials that we need:

  1. Click on Locations (left navigation menu), find the line in the table for this entity and click it.

  2. Copy the Location ID (first line) and the Organization number (almost the last line)

  3. Click Developers (left navigation menu), Credentials, Create (top right) to create new API credentials.
  4. Enter "uCollect" as the name and click "Create New API Key"
  5. Copy the API Access ID and API Secure Key before you close this screen

Setting up in uCollect

To set up your gateway in uCollect Add a new Gateway (Edit, Payment Gateways, choose the Forte gateway type) with the following details:

  • Gateway: choose the Forte gateway.  There are two options – one for credit card and one for ACH.  If you want to accept both please set up each gateway separately.
  • Enter your credentials obtained from the setup stage as follows.  The same credentials should be used for ACH and CC if you use both.
    • Account ID = Organization ID
    • Location ID = Location ID
    • API Key = API Access ID
    • Secure transaction key = API Secure Key 
  • Calculate Commission/Fees on Settlement: This option is not appropriate for Forte as they do not settle net of commissions.
  • Pay Now: Both ACH and Credit Card options are eligible for Pay Now (and your customers can sign up for automatic collection).

If you would like to accept American Express card you need to get this setup with Forte first, then check the “Allow American Express” box on the Gateway profile page in uCollect.

For help on using the Gateway setup screen please see the help page.

Managing your Customers

When setting up your contacts in uCollect you have two options:

  • Select the Client ID.  If your customer has already been setup in Forte you can simply select them from the drop-down list.
  • Create Customer.  You can click the “Create Customer” link to add the details if they have not already been created in Forte.  You still need to ensure that you have the correct authorisation to set up the credit card/bank account in uCollect.  We submit this data to Forte which assigns a ID number.  We do not store the account details in uCollect – we only store the ID Number from Forte.

Managing your Collections

uCollect will automatically send collection requests to Forte.  No additional involvement from you is required.  The response we get is a real time authorization.

You will get an email on returns and chargebacks from Forte (to the email address on file). You can also setup your own notifications in the Forte Virtual Terminal if you want to (see tutorial here).

If you have difficulty matching your settlement deposit to your processed payments log into Forte’s Virtual Terminal and run the Deposits report (see tutorial here)

Important note on currencies: For US-based users all transactions are treated as USD, and Canadian-based users all transactions are treated as CAD.  DO NOT try to settle invoices in other currencies as they will not be handled correctly. Furthermore, uCollect requires that all invoices sent through a gateway be in the same currency as the bank account that is used to settle that payment in your accounting system.  If you invoice in multiple currencies you should set up multiple gateways (one for each currency) in uCollect.  We recommend that you get in touch with us (live chat or contact us) for further assistance.

Rejected Transactions

Forte do not validate account/routing numbers when submitted.  You will only find out about errors after the transaction is processed by uCollect – account number or routing number rejects usually have code R28 (you can see a complete list of error/response codes here).  If a transaction fails for any reason Forte will send you an email telling you the AMOUNT only of the transaction.  The email lacks really critical information such as the name of the customer, the date of the original transaction, the transaction or even a description of the reason for the rejection.  To find out which transaction has failed you can look at recent batches in uCollect’s Collection History screen or log into the Forte console and look under Transactions, Search.  You may need to call Forte’s Customer Support (phone number is in the email) for further explanation.  We recommend that you complain bitterly about the lack of useful information in the email!

For more information on how to deal with a rejected payment see our support page “What to do When a Payment fails (after processing)”.

Common Error Codes:

You can see a full list of Forte error codes here.  Common ones are here:

  • R01 INSUFFICIENT FUNDS: The balance is not sufficient to cover the value of the transaction
  • R02 ACCOUNT CLOSED: A previously open account has been closed by the action of the customer or the RDFI. Contact the customer for a different bank account. If the customer insists that the account is valid, advise the customer to contact his/her bank.
  • R03 NO ACCOUNT: The account is closed or doesn't match the name submitted
  • R04 INVALID ACCOUNT NUMBER: The account number structure is invalid. The entry may fail the check digit validation or may contain an incorrect number of digits. Check that the account number entered is correct or contact the customer for a different account number. If the customer insists the account is valid, advise the customer to contact his/her bank.
  • R05 PRENOTE NOT RECEIVED: Pre-notification was not received for a corporate account. Merchant must send a pre-note ($0 transaction).
  • R06 RETURNED PER ODFI: The ODFI has requested that the RDFI return this item due to an erroneous entry. (An erroneous entry can be a duplicate entry, dollar amount mismatch, order payment to or from a receiver different than the receiver, etc)
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