A payment is authorized when the issuer verifies the payment details of a shopper and the funds are reserved. For some card schemes, you can set card payment requests to be handled as either a pre-authorization or a final authorization.
- Pre-authorization: when you don’t know yet the amount to be captured. It allows you to increase or decrease the initially authorized amount later in time using the API. Learn how to adjust the authorization.
- Final authorization: when the final amount is agreed up front, and the transaction will be captured in full. It's not possible to adjust the authorized amount.
When would you change the authorization amount?
- Use pre-authorization if you completed a pre-authorization and now want to adjust the amount. In a hotel, for example, just before the guest checks in.
- Use partial capture if, for example, you don’t currently have all products of a shopper’s order and wish to charge them for only a part of the transaction amount (only for some payment methods).
- Single partial capture: any unclaimed amount left over after partially capturing a payment is automatically canceled.
- Multiple partial captures: the unclaimed amount after an initial capture isn’t automatically canceled. This means that each shipment you do will correspond to another partial capture until you either capture the full amount or decide to cancel the leftover amount.