Introductory Concepts


Each sale represented as a transaction. Transactions have several possible statuses but typically they are stored initially with a status of N (new / unconfirmed) prior to processing the customer’s payment; once the payment has processed the status is updated to C (confirmed). Only confirmed transactions appear in the various reports.

The transaction contains all of the sale’s information, primarily:

  • Sale order lines, with amounts, descriptions and transaction date
  • Currency information
  • Tax-related information - location evidence, tax region/country assigned, tax rates
  • Buyer information, including the billing address and email address
  • A number of custom fields, able to carry additional information
  • Invoice image reference
  • Issued refunds
  • Registered payments

There are several types of transactions:

  • Merchant: Standard transactions in which Vertex is not an intermediary
  • Vertex: Standard transactions in which Vertex was an intermediary
  • Self-billed: For transactions in which Vertex was an intermediary and additional transaction is automatically created in the system from the merchant to Vertex.
  • Placeholder: When a sale is made for a subscription product a placeholder transaction can be created to store the location evidence, customer information, etc. - which future renewals will reference.

Tax region

A tax region is a country, or group of countries, that have a common reporting target - for example the 27 member countries of the European Union, or the Switzerland region which also includes Liechtenstein.

Upon processing a sale Vertex will assign an appropriate region and country to the transaction, so that the sale complies with the appropriate tax laws.

The tax region can be either:

  • Delegated for Vertex to be the seller: Transactions made in this region will mean Vertex is liable for VAT/GST purposes.
  • Enabled for tax and the merchant is the seller: In this case, local VAT/GST or sales tax is applied. For such regions, it is possible to browse tax reports generated by Vertex and use them for filing directly with the relevant tax authority.
  • Disabled for tax: transactions for this region will be stored, but tax will not be calculated and applied and Vertex will not provide tax reports.

In addition, if there is any region that you do not want to sell to, it can be blocked so that sales to that region will not proceed.

Test mode

Test mode is the default mode of operation for every new account. Test mode allows merchants to familiarize themselves with the service in a sandbox mode.

Merchants can perform the same operations in test mode as in live mode, such as:

  • Login to the Merchant Portal
  • Use the Checkout Form or JavaScript API or REST API to:
    • Test transaction flow
    • Browse reports and transactions for test data
    • Integrate with Payment Gateways in test/sandbox mode

Transactions performed using test mode tokens are stored within the service, but are not settled with tax authorities.

Merchants can perform as many transactions as required while in test mode in order to fully evaluate the service.

Live mode

Live mode is used for processing actual sales. This mode will connect to payment providers in live/production mode. For sales where the VAT/GST obligation is delegated to Vertex, the tax will be settled with the relevant tax authorities.


Even with live mode enabled, merchants still have access to both sets of tokens. Depending on the token used, any incoming data will be applied to the appropriate mode.