TabaPay Partial Authorization Service



Within the money movement space, when it comes to instant payments, prepaid and debit cards are popular payment methods. But what happens if they do not have enough funds to cover the full transaction amount? TabaPay's Partial Authorization Service provides an alternative to declining a transaction when the card’s available balance is not sufficient to approve a transaction in full. Participating issuers return an authorization response with an approval for a portion of the original amount requested, enabling the remainder of the transaction amount to be paid by other means.


Supported Card Brands

At the moment, Partial Authorization Service is only available on Visa Cards.

Benefits of Partial Authorization Services

For TabaPay Clients:

  • Enables more conversion
  • Reduces authorization declines due to insufficient funds

For End Customers:

  • Allows for use of their available funds on prepaid or debit cards
  • Supplement remainder of the payment using their choice of payment method
  • Avoids the hassle of their services being terminated

How does it work

When a customer presents a Visa debit/prepaid card for a payment that results in a Create Transaction API:

  1. TabaPay Client creates an authorization request on the card using Create Transaction API Request with the Partial Authorization Indicator enabled. (for say, transaction amount of $100, and let's assume the card balance at the issuer is $40)
  2. TabaPay invokes authorization request with the Card Network.
  3. When the card’s balance is less than the transaction amount (i.e. card balance of $40 < transaction amount of $100), the card issuer sends back an authorization response with a unique response code of 10, and the available balance (of $40) as a partial amount approved.
  4. TabaPay relays the result of the authorization in the Create Transaction API Response including the transaction amount approved as well as the original amount requested (i.e. $40 approved whereas requested for $100). Network Response Code of 10 is to be expected when Partial Authorization was successful.

Post Transaction Choices

  • TabaPay Clients can identify the unique network response code, subtracts the partially approved amount from the total transaction amount, and requests another form of payment, using split-tender functionality.
  • Customer pays the remaining amount of purchase with another form of payment, depending upon
    the TabaPay Client's policies and user experience/capabilities.
  • TabaPay Client completes the sale and prints a receipt showing each payment amount.


Reversal Request

If the customer does not wish to complete the sale, TabaPay Client should initiate an authorization reversal.

Best Practices

  • Alternate Payment Methods for Remainder: Partial authorization works the same way as face-to-face transactions: Upon receipt of a partial approval, present the customer with an option to pay for the balance with another form of payment.
  • Customer Education: Ensure customer-facing pages clearly communicate why there is an outstanding balance and what amount will be charged to the additional form of payment.


How will merchants know how much additional tender is needed?

TabaPay will return the originally requested amount as well as the partially approved amount. A network response code of 10 indicates that the transaction was only partially authorized. TabaPay Clients can calculate the difference of originally requested amount and the partially approved amount to determine any split tender or request additional forms of payment to complete the sale.

Will all issuers participate in Partial Authorization Service?

When the Partial Authorization Service flag is enabled for the Create Transaction API for a Visa prepaid/debit card, Visa will request an authorization from the card network, and will relay the response back to the client.

All Visa prepaid issuers are required to support partial authorization, and an increasing number of debit issuers support the service as well.

What happens if there is a need for a refund?

TabaPay Clients can only process the amount that was partially authorized for refunds.

When should TabaPay Clients initiate reversals of partially authorized transactions?

These are possible situations/examples:

  • When the cardholder does not offer additional funds to complete the purchase using additional payment methods resulting in cancellation of a sale.
  • When the customer abandons a sale.
  • When the transaction is subsequently voided or canceled due to other reasons.