Authorization & Capture


Overview

Authorization & Capture, or Auth/Capture, allows you to authorize the availability of funds for a transaction but delay the capture of funds until a later time. This is often useful for merchants who have a delayed order fulfillment process. Authorize & Capture also enables merchants to modify the original authorization amount due to order changes occurring after the initial order is placed, such as taxes, shipping or gratuity.

Authorize & Capture can be used in tandem with other PayPal payment options, such as Express Checkout, Website Payments Pro, and PayPal Payments Standard buttons.

Once an authorization has been made, you can:

  • Capture either a partial amount or the full amount of the authorization.
  • Reauthorize for a different amount — You can reauthorize for up to 115% of the originally authorized amount, not to exceed an increase of $75 USD.
  • Void the authorization, if you need to cancel the transaction.

After most successful authorizations, PayPal honors 100% of authorized funds for three days. A day is defined as the start of the calendar day on which the authorization or reauthorization was made (from 12AM PST to 11:59PM PST). Please note that not all funding sources support authorization and capture models, and PayPal Risk reserves the right to block successful capture transactions against authorizations.

You can attempt to capture without a reauthorization from day four to day 29 of the authorization period, but PayPal cannot ensure that 100% of the funds will be available after the three-day honor period. Also, PayPal will not allow you to capture funds if the buyer's account is restricted, locked, or a fraudulent case occurs, or if your account has a high restriction level.

Types of Authorizations

You can make two types of authorizations, basic authorizations and order authorizations.

Basic Authorizations

Basic authorizations place the customer's funds on hold for up to 29 days. During this time, you can capture, void, or reauthorize the funds. You can reauthorize a transaction only once. You can reauthorize it for up to 115% of the originally authorized amount or an increase of $75 USD (whichever is the lesser amount).

You can capture NVP/SOAP and void NVP/SOAP basic authorizations through the APIs or by logging in to your PayPal account and using the web interface.

Orders and Order Authorizations

Creating a PayPal Order indicates that the buyer has consented to the purchase but does not place the funds on hold. After creating the Order, you can capture the order directly without any additional authorization, or you can create an authorization API call to place funds on hold until you are ready to capture. Since the order does not place funds on hold, it is advised that you follow the second approach and create an authorization instead of capturing an Order directly.

This technique is often used by merchants who accept orders for varying items, some of which may not be available for shipment at the time the order is placed. Subsequent basic authorizations are made as the items become available. These authorizations ensure the customer still has the funds available to purchase each item. You can make up to 10 basic authorizations for each Order. If your account allows only a limited number of authorizations per Order, contact PayPal Customer Support to configure your account to allow up to 99 basic authorizations for each Order.

You create authorizations on order transactions using either the PayPal API (for Express Checkout or Website Payments Pro) or PayPal Payments Standard. For Direct Payments with Website Payments Pro, you can only create authorizations; you cannot create order authorizations.

An order is valid for 29 days. Within this period, you can request one or many authorizations to ensure the availably of funds. The sum of the total open authorizations can’t exceed 115% or $75 (whichever is less) of the amount provided to PayPal when the order was created.

Using Authorization & Capture

You create authorizations or order transactions using either the PayPal API (for Express Checkout or Website Payments Pro) or PayPal Payments Standard. For Direct Payments with Website Payments Pro, you can only create authorizations; you cannot create order authorizations.

After you have created authorizations, you can capture, void, or reauthorize the transaction using the PayPal API. You can capture or void authorizations from the PayPal website.

You must capture and void orders and order authorizations with the Authorization and Capture APIs. You cannot process order authorizations through the PayPal website. The PayPal website only supports processing basic authorizations, not order authorizations.

Integration Information

For integration information see How to Authorize and Process a Payment Using Express Checkout.

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