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After-Hours Processing

During nightly processing, Vision PLUS can perform online authorizations and account
maintenance to the cardholder accounts, accept new accounts, and process account
transfers to support your customer service and authorizations departments required
hours of operation. This chapter discusses after-hours processing, which provides
virtually 24-hour-a-day access to certain functions.

24-hour processing
Vision PLUS is designed to process most updates to the master files in online, realtime mode rather than in batch processing mode. However, a batch process is required to
post monetary transactions to the customers account, calculate date-driven delinquency,
generate statements, and other functions. The batch process is streamlined and capable
of processing large account bases within compressed nightly batch windows. During the
batch process, all master files are closed to online maintenance so that the batch update
can occur. To accommodate certain data processing requirements, Vision PLUS enables
the credit staff to access and/or manipulate cardholder account data after the master files
are closed and batch processing begins. Cardholder maintenance is classified in two
categories: authorizations and customer service maintenance.

Authorizations
Authorizations can be performed on a cardholders account after the batch process
begins. The Financial Authorization System (FAS) reads the CMS (Credit Management
System) Account Base Segment file to determine the cardholders open-to-buy field,
block codes on the account fields, and so forth, to make the authorization decision. At
some point after the CMS batch process, the after-hours authorization requests are
applied to the CMS master files that then produce a current, up-to-date file for the next
business day. This update process requires that the cardholder files are offline for only a
brief period of time

Customer service maintenance


At the end of each normal processing day, you must close the CMS master files for
batch processing and open the after-hours files by using the ARCH (Close for After
Hours) function or by selecting the OPEN FOR AFTER HOURS option on the AROC (After
Hours) screen. If you are using FAS, opening the after-hours files also initiates the FAS
transaction OFED (option 1 on OFSS). OFED sets the end-of-day switch and prepares
the files for after-hours processing. At this time, CMS uses shadow files to post
non-monetary transactions. (Shadow files are duplicate files designated by an A at the
end of the usual master file name.) The system generates these files dynamically as it
processes account transactions. For any inquiry transaction, the appropriate CMS master
is accessed in a read-only fashion. If an update is required, the account record is written
to the shadow file. Using the shadow files, customer service personnel have the online
capability to update account information while in after-hours mode. FAS also points to the
shadow files to make authorization decisions. For example, if you place a block on the
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account at 7:00 P.M. during after-hours, and an authorization request is attempted on the
account at 7:01 P.M., FAS reads the shadow files, finds the account with the block code
on it, and responds accordingly. If FAS does not find the account in the shadow files, it
reads the read-only master files. These files are available while CMS batch programs
Daily 1 and 2 are run. When after-hours activity ends, and CMS batch program Daily 3 is
about to run, you must close the CMS files either by using the ARCA (Close All) function
or by selecting the CLOSE ALL option from the AROC (After Hours) screen. If you are using
FAS, closing the files initiates the FAS transaction OFAH (option 2 on OFSS) which puts
the files in after-hours mode.
CMS batch processing moves the after-hours log records from the shadow files to the
AML1 master files and renames the files. During this period, no FAS or CMS processing
can take place. Once the batch is completed, if you are using FAS, you must run the FAS
Daily 2 program to reinitialize the FAS log files and reopen the FAS files for processing.
After you complete this process, you can reopen the CMS files either by using the AROA
(Open All) function or by selecting the OPEN ALL option on the AROC screen. Either action
prompts the system to apply the AML1 files to the master files and return the master files
to ready-for-processing status.

Limitations
You cannot maintain the control records, credit plans, and delinquency adjustments in
the after-hours mode. Most errors that arise from attempting to access functions that are
unavailable due to the after-hours status will return you to the CMS Master Menu
(ARMU01) with appropriate messages. This retains the current information on file so that
you can return to the previous function by entering the appropriate screen identifier and
pressing Enter.
The Account Services Management (ASM) system retains its own file of monetary
transactions and runs its own batch job to create a file to pass to CMS for the posting
process. Because interruptions cannot occur to the Customer Service department,
monetary transactions for that day are not processed until the next days CMS batch run.
Therefore, all after-hours ASM monetary transactions post on the next processing day,
along with any reports and statistics generated by ASM.
File-to-file updates cannot be specified for the Account Base Segment file in ARD140.
This option is selected on the System Record (ARMS02).

Available functions
All menus are available after-hours. The menu function presents an error condition
when an operator selects a transaction ID that cannot be used after-hours. Since the
menu function is used to display error messages, all user security signons must have a
sufficient level of security to access the menu function.
Control records
Only the inquiry function is allowed for control records. Requests for control record
add or maintenance functions result in a special error response via the CMS Master Menu
(ARMU01).
Customer service functions
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Maintenance, inquiry, and add functions are allowed for the Relationship, Customer,
Account Base Segment, Embossing, Secured, and Collateral file records with the
following restrictions:
The STATUS fields on the Customer, Account Base Segment, Relationship, and
o Embosser records are protected
Requests for plan segments display as they existed at the beginning of the
o current days processing and do not reflect the current days transactions.
Special customer service functions
Any request for the Delinquency Adjustment (ARDJ) function results in a special error
response via the CMS Master Menu (ARMU01). You can perform the Account Transfer
(ARXF) function while in after-hours mode. The transfer from and to accounts remain
in a transfer out today and transfer in today status, respectively, until the next nightly
processing run. The Online Statement History Display (ARSD) and the Transaction
Display (ARTD) functions reflect the information in the statement and monetary
transaction files (AMOS, AMSS, AMSL) as they existed at the beginning of the current
processing day.

ARSD and ARTD do not display the current processing days transactions during after-hours mode.

Monetary screens
Any request for a monetary input screen results in a special error response via the
CMS Master Menu (ARMU01).
Field Security function
Any request for the Field Security function (ARFS) results in a special error response
via the CMS Master Menu (ARMU01).

Modifications to inquiry functions


Account Inquiry (ARIQ) displays prior transaction activity only. Account Inquiry History
(ARIH/ARIC) displays prior transaction activity only.

Online functions available in after-hours processing


The following table lists CMS online functions that are available, not available, and
available with restrictions during after-hours processing. The CMS functions are grouped
by category and then listed in alphabetical order by description. The categories are:

Menu screens
Account screens
Embosser screens
Name and address screens
Relationship screens
Transaction screens
Control Record screens.