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Author Topic: Online payment receipt notations
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2234
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 11-11-2015 02:22 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I pay most of my movie theatre's bills via electronic transfer where I just log into a financial website and enter the payment to make and the money is transferred to the recipient's bank account. I get a "printable receipt" for each transaction with a transaction number on it that I then email to the outfit that I just paid to show that I paid them.

The outfit that I was using to do my electronic payments is apparently going out of business, so I recently set up an account at a bank for the purpose of making these payments.

Unlike the payment provider that I was using before, the bank doesn't have a "comment" field on the printable receipt. I always used the comment to add "Invoice # 1234" or whatever so there's no doubt about what I'm paying for when I email the receipt to the outfit that I just transferred money to.

Since the transaction receipt only occupies the top half of the pdf page, I wrote a little bash script to stamp the bottom half of the page with whatever I want for a note to go along with the payment. The comment always occupies approximately the bottom half of the sheet; the font shrinks or grows to fill in the available space.

I also convert the pdf to a png file since it comes out quite a bit smaller than the pdf.

Here is the script if any of you folks do electronic payments and don't get a "comment" section on the transaction receipts. You can easily modify it to say anything you want it to say.

The script relies on ImageMagick to do the heavy lifting. Most Linux distributions have imagemagick included in their standard software repositories; while a Windows version of Imagemagick also exists I don't know how to run a bash script on Windows so you're on your own there if that's your situation. Google tells me that it can apparently be done, though.

FILE=`zenity --file-selection --title="File to Annotate"`
if [[ $? -eq 1 ]]; then
ANSWER=$(zenity --width 800 --entry --text "Payment Details")
if [[ $? -eq 1 ]]; then
TEMPFILE2="/tmp/$(basename $0).$$2.png"
TEMPFILE="/tmp/$(basename $0).$$.png"
convert -density 175 -monochrome "$FILE" "$TEMPFILE"
width=`identify -format %w "$TEMPFILE"`
convert -monochrome -gravity center -size ${width}x900 -font Times-New-Roman-Regular caption:"Payment from\nMelville Theatre - Melville Sask\n$ANSWER" "$TEMPFILE" +swap -gravity South -composite "$TEMPFILE2"
pngcrush -brute "$TEMPFILE2" "$OUTFILE"
zenity --info --text "Job Complete"

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 525
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004

 - posted 11-14-2015 04:04 AM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This seems odd to me.

When I make an electronic payment, there are three fields that I get to fill in, and they appear on the recipient's statement or their on-line system, and they tell me what reference(s) they want on their payment, so they can line up their received payment with their invoice. So an invoice number, and/or account number or something similar.

How does your on-line payment provider differ from this? And why do you need a separate on-line provider from your bank, doesn't your bank do this?

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2234
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 11-14-2015 11:03 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The bank that I am now doing my online payments through (Royal Bank of Canada) doesn't have a usable "remarks" or similar field available on their send-a-payment page. You just select a name from your payee list, enter an amount and click on Submit. There actually is a field for a user comment but it's always grayed out. I think that's because they offer an additional service for 25 cents more per transaction where they will email a payment announcement to your payee and perhaps that field is related to the contents of that email. Since they want to charge me 25 cents just for that and I can easily send an email to someone that I've just paid myself for free, I've never set that part of it up. I just send the payment, print the transaction receipt that shows up, and email that the the payee myself. Hence the above bash script.

The outfit that I do my business banking with (Horizon Credit Union) doesn't offer this type of online payment service. They had a contract with a third party payment provider that's now apparently going out of business to offer that service to their customers, which is why I've been using that one up to now. The credit union does offer something called Interac E-Transfer which involves me sending an email to a payee with a special link that the payee has to click and log into a website and arrange to collect the money. The sales literature assures me that this is an extremely convenient method for paying your babysitter and for your share of the lunch bill. I've never actually tried it but it sounds like a hassle for the payee and I don't think the movie companies and whatnot would go for a scheme where they have to log into a website to collect their money.

Ultimately, the Royal Bank payment scheme is working but it's costing me ten cents more per transaction than I was paying before. Still cheaper than a paper cheque and a stamp, though, and the payment gets there much faster.

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