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    Online patron payments via credit card in Aleph

    • Article Type: General
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 16.02

    Accepting fines and fee payments in Aleph through an online service. We have a library requesting information on how ALEPH would interact with an online credit card payment from our patrons. How would ALEPH verify the transaction and amount? How could ALEPH automatically clear a fine and block on a patron card once an online payment was applied? Could it at least temporarily suspend a local block?

    Is this being addressed in a later version? Any information you can provide is appreciated.

    The following are two answers:

    1. Some time ago there was a discussion in ALEPH-NA with an answer from Joao Neves from Portugal. Martin From: North American Aleph Users Group [mailto:ALEPH-NA@LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Suporte Bibliotecas Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4:56 PM To: ALEPH-NA@LISTSERV.ND.EDU Subject: Re: Online Payment and Aleph Hello, We've implemented a "student card" payment in one of our customers. All students have a special account associated to its card that can be used for several services in the Faculty. Parking lot, photocopies etc. It's like a credit card for the Faculty. Basically what we do is call an external program (webService) that checks if the user has enough money on his account and debits it online on an external system. The operator in the library uses the payment type to choose this kind of payments. Check out the "Aleph and e-payments 18.01.pdf" guide p.13. Hope this helps Regards Joao Neves ( )

    2. Customers in Germany and UK have been using e-payment via the Aleph SIP2 server, as described in the "ALEPH_and_e-Payments" doc -- in the Aleph -- How To directory on the Doc Portal.

    It was realized by a - proprietary - extension to the original SIP2 protocol ("tpl_extensions"), developed by Ex Libris and used by (meanwhile) several vendors of pay machines.

    E-Payments development has been done by the German office:

    There are two different scenarios for an external component to communicate with ALEPH:
    1) Self-service machines (“kiosk”) may be used to enable patrons to pay there fines themselves cashless.
    2) The payment is done cashless by library staff in the ALEPH-GUI.
    Both options can be used together in one installation or alternatively depending on the policy of the library and the provided 3rd party software.
    e-Payment Kiosk establish connection with Aleph via SIP-2 message 93, 94, using similar authentication mechanism as those in SELF-CHECK machine.
    e-Payment Kiosk will process the cashless transaction.
    e-Payment Kiosk will update the transaction in the kiosk local DB.
    ALEPH will return information such as receipt number to e-Payment Kiosk as SIP-2 message ‘38’.
    e-Payment Kiosk will print 1 receipt containing:
    1. Specific receipt number (only applicable for the mode of cashless payment type), for example for NETS
    2. ALEPH receipt number.
    SIP-2 message 93, 94 are used for e-Payment Kiosk to establish connection to Aleph, using similar authentication mechanism as those in SELF-CHECK machine.
    SIP-2 message 63, 64 are used for e-Payment Kiosk to query user information via message 63 and for Aleph to respond with patrons information via message 64.
    SIP-2 message 37, 38 are used for e-Payment Kiosk to inform Aleph on the committed transaction (via message 37) and for Aleph to return the Aleph receipt number via message 38.
    For the connection between ALEPH-GUI an the external program the configuration table $alephe_tab/tab_external_program has to been configured.
    e-Payment Kiosk is A standalone machine where patron will perform self service cashless payment. This kiosk is like the 3M Self Check machine where it will communicate with ALEPH via a protocol to update the charge information.

    16.02 rep_ver 7528 is the basis for the preceding info:

    *** rep_ver #007528 *******

    ****** rep_ver issued by Ex Libris Germany (Sven) ******

    Description: Implementation of electronic payment via a self-service kiosk using SIP messages.

    Note: This is a special development for TPL.

    ALEPH is now able to send information about a patron's open cash transactions to a self-check machine and accepts "fee paid"-messages in return.

    Changes have been made for messages 63/64, messages 37/38 have been implemented and two fields have been added to z31 (see rep_ver #007455).

    To activate this development the following parameter must be add to tab_sip2.conf:
    tpl_extensions = Y

    Messages 63/64:
    Messages 63/64:

    When the "fee items"-flag in the summary field of SIP2-message 63 (Patron Information Request) ist set to Y, the response message 64 (Patron Information Response) contains the following additional fields:

    Field ID Field ALEPH
    EB barcode Z30-BARCODE
    ET title information
    EC cash transaction type Z31-TYPE
    EN net amount Z31-NET-SUM
    EF sum Z31-SUM
    EK cash transaction id Z31-REC-KEY

    These fields are repeated for every open cash transaction.

    NOTE: These fields are NOT SIP2 standard but customer specific!

    Messages 37/38:
    Messages 37/38:

    Message 37 (Fee Pai


    NOTE:  "Credit-card payment by patrons in Aleph" ( ) is a comprehensive, more up-to-date article covering this topic.


    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013
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