Some small business owners who use Intuit’s recurring credit card payment system in QuickBooks 2011 have not been able to process payments due to a glitch in the system. Last week, Intuit had a problem with their payment processing system as well. In short, it hasn’t been a good week for Intuit and Intuit users.
It started when users of the 2008 Intuit QuickBooks received a notice that they would need to upgrade to the 2011 version of the software. Ideally, the credit card information the user had stored in the 2008 software would have been retained during the upgrade. For companies that charge membership fees or other ongoing charges to clients, the companies retain the credit card information so they can automatically charge the credit cards on file on the payment due date.
The problem is that during the upgrade, for certain merchants, something happened to the credit card information that was stored in the QuickBooks program. All of the credit card information that once existed simply disappeared. This means that when the companies went to charge the credit cards on file, no information existed for them to process the charges.
The urge to upgrade is Intuit’s way of trying to transition clients using its software to a web-based system. Getting all of its customers on a web-based system allows Intuit to sell subscription services to clients. In addition, it also allows for easier updates and upgrades than what is now offered to software-based clients.
Intuit was very slow to acknowledge these problems with their QuickBooks system and customer complaints in online forums are what brought the problem to light. Since the payroll problem outage and the credit card processing problem occurred last week, Intuit is presumably working on correcting the problems.
Nevertheless, for individuals and businesses which rely on Intuit’s services, there may be some troublesome unforeseen consequences of these outages. For example, for individuals who set up direct deposit of their payroll checks and have set up automatic online payments for certain bills such as auto loans or home mortgages based on receiving their salary on a certain date, the loss of several days in getting paid could force their bank accounts into overdraft mode and trigger those hefty overdraft charges.
Merchants also have bills to pay on certain dates and the inability to charge their recurring credit card customers the amount due could create imbalances in their financial in and out boxes.