Authorization and honor period

While the default for the checkout integration is a one-step payment solution, PayPal does support two-step payments. You can customize your integration so that you first authorize a card, then settle the purchase later. Settling a payment is also known as capturing the payment.

This topic describes the authorization and honor period that governs the two-step payment solution.

PayPal's authorization and honor period

An authorization places a hold on the funds and is valid for 29 days. After a successful authorization, PayPal recommends that you capture the funds within the three-day honor period. Success of the capture is subject to risk and availability of funds on the authorized funding instrument.

Within the 29-day authorization period, you can issue multiple re-authorizations after the honor period expires. A re-authorization generates a new authorization ID and restarts the honor period, and any subsequent capture should be performed on the new authorization ID. If you do a re-authorization on the 27th day of the authorization, you get only two days of honor period.

Capture details

  • For any payment type, you can capture less than or the full original authorized amount.
  • You can complete partial captures during a single authorization period. For PayPal payment authorizations, you must enable this feature on your PayPal account.
  • You can capture up to 115% of or $75 USD more than the original authorized amount, whichever is less.

Note: Customers and merchants cannot close accounts that have authorized but not yet captured payments. You can also authorize payments for orders, which verifies the availability of funds but does not place the funds on hold.

Example scenarios

Within a 29-day authorization period, you can issue multiple reauthorizations after the initial three-day honor period expires.

Day Action Authorization period Honor period
1 Authorization-1 Begins 29-day authorization period Days 1 through 3
4 Reauthorization-1 on Authorization-1 Within 29-day authorization period Days 4 through 7
8 Reauthorization-2 on Authorization-1 Within 29-day authorization period Days 8 through 11

See also