Authorize a payment and capture funds later

SDKCurrentStandardLast updated: November 1st 2023, @ 11:23:55 am




Capture a single authorization

If you have authorized a transaction, you need to capture the funds in order to receive payment.

Important: PayPal recommends that you capture payments within 3 days of the original authorization.


To initiate a capture:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Select the History sub-tab.
    The History page shows up.
  3. Find the payment transaction you want to capture and select the Capture button associated with the transaction.
    The Capture Funds page shows up:

  4. Review the information, enter the amount to capture, and then select the Capture Funds button.
    The funds are transferred to your account.
Batch capture multiple authorizations

You can initiate the capture of an entire group of authorized transactions at the same time. This feature is known as batch capture.

To capture a batch of authorized transactions:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Select the History sub-tab.
    The History page shows up.

  3. Select the Capture button associated with any transaction.
    The Capture Funds page appears:

  4. Select the Batch Capture link that is located in the introductory paragraph.

  5. On the displayed page, either use the drop-down menu to choose a defined date or date range, or enter a specific date range in the provided fields.

  6. On the displayed page, check the authorizations you want to capture, set their capture amount, choose whether to make an additional capture later, and optionally enter a note to the buyer.

  7. Review the capture transactions, make any desired changes, and submit them for processing.
Void an authorization

If you initiated an authorization and now want to refund the buyer, you need to void the authorization. Once you void an authorization, you can't capture any funds associated with the authorization, and the funds are returned to the buyer.

Note: Voiding an authorization cancels the entire open amount.


You can initiate a void in the following cases:

  • The authorization is pending.
  • The authorized amount was captured at less than 100%.

To void an authorization:

  1. Select the Void button associated with the authorization.
  2. Confirm the void details on the Void Authorization page, and then select the Void button.

Note: PayPal recommends that you explain any unique circumstance to your buyer in the Note field.


PayPal sends the buyer an email with the details of the voided authorization.

Capture within 3 days
  1. Your buyer orders a camera from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. On day 3, capture funds and ship the camera.

After you have captured funds, your Transaction Details shows the transaction with a Completed status.

Capture from 4 to 29 days
  1. Your buyer orders a DVD player from your website.
  2. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  3. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. The DVD player is discontinued. You order a different DVD player from your vendor and notify your buyer of the change.
  6. On day 14, the DVD player arrives from your vendor. Because the honor period has expired, reauthorize the funds. On successful reauthorization, perform a capture and ship the DVD player.

Your Transaction Details shows that the transaction has been completed.

1 authorization, multiple captures, and a refund
  1. Your buyer orders 2 textbooks and a keyboard from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. 1 textbook and the keyboard are out of stock. You order additional inventory from your vendors. Complete the first partial capture and ship the in-stock textbook on day 6.
  6. You receive the second textbook from the vendor. Perform the second partial capture and ship the textbook on day 11.
  7. You receive the keyboard from the vendor. You reauthorize for payment on day 19.
  8. Your buyer files a complaint that the textbook from the first shipment is damaged. You issue a partial refund for the first capture.

Your Transaction Details shows the following:

Lower capture amount
  1. Your buyer orders a laser printer and a USB cable from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. Before you process the transaction, your buyer contacts you and requests to cancel the USB cable from the order.
  6. On day 6, complete a partial capture for the specific amount against the authorization and ship the laser printer.
  7. You complete a void on the funds remaining on the authorization.

Your Transaction Details shows the following:

Capture up to 115 percent
  1. Your buyer places an order from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. You add shipping charges to the order and capture funds on day 1.

Your Transaction Details shows the completed transaction. The capture results in a total not greater than 115% of the original authorization.

Authorization expires
  1. Your buyer orders a desktop computer from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. Before you process the transaction, your buyer contacts you to cancel the order.
  6. You do not capture funds for the transaction.
  7. The authorization expires.

Your Transaction Details shows the authorization with an Expired status.

Void a payment
  1. Your buyer orders a stereo system from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. Before you process the transaction, your buyer contacts you to cancel the order.
  6. You void the transaction.

Your History shows the transaction with a Voided status.

Reattempted capture
  1. Your buyer orders 2 sweatshirts from your website.
  2. Your buyer enters payment information and authorizes payment.
  3. Send your buyer to PayPal using a hosted flow, specifying the variable paymentaction=authorization.
  4. PayPal initiates the authorization.
  5. On day 3, you attempt to capture funds, but the capture fails. You receive an error message similar to the following:

    We are sorry, we can't process the settlement at this time.

    There was a restriction on the buyer's account.

  6. You contact the buyer to resolve the problem.
  7. Your buyer resolves the account problem.
  8. You reattempt and successfully capture funds. You ship the order to your buyer.

Note: The reauthorization scenario is similar to the Reattempted Capture scenario, as detailed above.