Overview of Auth (Authorize) & Capture



Authorize and Capture will allow TabaPay clients to authorize a payment, place funds on hold, that can later be captured.

  • Authorize a payment - to check for validity of account, check for sufficient account balance, and then hold the funds on the cardholder’s account until the time they are ready to be captured
  • Capture the previously authorized transaction - to collect the funds corresponding to the previously authorized amount at a later time (when the client is ready to capture depending on their use case)


Authorizations place a hold on cardholder's payment instrument

Authorizations are a key element of the payments ecosystem. Clients submit authorizations when cardholders provide an intent to authorize a payment.

With each successful authorization, available funds from cardholders are reduced to cover an approved authorization, commonly referred to as an authorization hold.

Authorizations are meant to be settled; and when they are not, can cause a problem for cardholders when the authorization is tying up money that can be used for other purchases and cause customer complaints.


Authorization or AuthAn authorization, provided by the customer’s card issuing bank, confirms the cardholder’s ability to pay.

The card-issuing bank verifies the customer's ability to pay by checking their available funds. If they are sufficient, the bank reduces the cardholder's available credit balance by the amount of the authorization and responds to the authorization request with an approval.
Capture or Settlement RequestAfter providing a service/product to the customer, a capture of the authorization is requested in order to receive funds by referencing the the approved authorization in a capture (sometimes referred to as settlement) request. Capture results in a funds transfer to or from the customer's credit card account based on the use case.


  • Auth-only transactions can be fully voided before they are captured
  • In the event of an outage, transactions can be voided and the financial impact is minimized


Unified API for Sale OR Auth/Capture

TabaPay Create Transaction API can be used to specify:

  • Authorization
  • Capture
  • Sale (Authorization and Capture at once)

Capture amount will be exactly equal to the Authorized amount

How it works

1. Initiate an Authorization Request


Authorization Request using Create Transaction API


In the Create Transaction API Request, specify the URL to perform an authorization. This would allow TabaPay to NOT treat the card transaction processing as a Sale, but instead consider it as an Authorization.

Ensure that the transaction contains adequate details for TabaPay to successfully process the transaction. Refer the API Reference - Create Transaction API for requirements.

The Auth request:

  1. Checks whether a card is valid and has the funds to complete a specific transaction (i.e. purchase).
  2. Does not place any charge(s) on the card, but places a temporarily hold of the funds for the specified transaction amount.


  • The duration of these authorization holds vary by card network and issuer. Typically, they are open for 3-10 days after which they expire.
  • Clients are expected to follow up an authorization with a capture.
  • Authorizations with no intent to capture must be voided.

2. Receive Authorization Response

When it is successful, you will receive a successful 200 response.

However, auth-specific errors could be because of a few things:

  • Client has not been enabled for Auth and Capture
  • Usual network response codes will continue to apply for authorizations

3. Initiate a Capture Request


Capture Request using Create Transaction API


Initiate a capture for a previously authorized transaction. Include the transaction ID of the original authorization in the capture request URL of TabaPay's Create Transaction API.


Capture Window due to Authorization Windows

Authorizations automatically expire after a period of time if they are not captured. The length of time varies by card network and issuer, but usually it is within 7-10 days.

If clients wait too long to capture an authorization, the card network or issuer may have already canceled the authorization


  • Capture has its own TabaPay Transaction ID (different from Auth’s TabaPay Transaction ID); however to initiate a Capture, it requires the corresponding auth’s TabaPay Transaction ID to be present.
  • Capture over 100% of the authorized amount - For instance, authorization for $10 can only be followed by a capture of exactly $10 (no more or no less)
  • Multiple captures per auth are not available at this time
  • Partial captures are not available at this time i.e cannot capture less than the authorized amount. (no capturing $5 of $10 authorized amount)
  • No auto-cancellation of transactions exist using a configuration. To cancel, client must invoke delete transaction.


Workaround for Everything

Auth what you need and capture what’s auth’ed. If not, void the auth, and place another one!

4. Receive Capture Response

The Create Transaction API for capture returns a 200 when TabaPay successfully tries to settle the transaction with the networks.

Clients should expect to see the transaction activity for settled transactions within TabaPay's settlement reports as well as activity via daily and monthly reports.

5. Request Capture Status


Retrieve Status


As with any TabaPay transaction, you can query of the transaction status with TabaPay for a capture. Possible cases are:

  • Capture was successful
  • Capture failed because initial authorization had expired

Delete Transaction

Clients will be able to delete previously placed authorization and/or capture transactions. However:

  • Auth:
    • Deleting an auth transaction is only possible when there's a previously available and valid transaction ID
  • Capture:
    • While a delete results in a TabaPay 'reversal' with the card network, there is no guarantee that the reversal will be successful
    • Next day's settlement activity as well as proof of posting with the network provide finality of transaction posting

Transaction Status

Payment Network Rules


In order to maintain the data integrity of the Visa authorization system, a Misuse of Authorization System Fee is assessed by Visa to approved and partially-approved authorizations that cannot be matched to a settled transaction. If an authorization was attempted and received but the
transaction was not settled, merchants must reverse the authorization.