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authorize vs capture on credit cards?

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I am setting up our checkout options and was looking for some insight on the Authorize vs. Capture options using MOM and Authorize.net.

If anyone already uses this arrangement, your experience/answers would be helpful. What set up do you use, and why?

A more specific question to our needs

-if authorizing but NOT capturing charges at the time of the transaction, with the intent to charge the card when the order ships instead, how long does the Authorized charge remain in pending on the customers account? or does it actually charge the $1 and then import to mom with partial payment applied?
Raven Norman Corporate Web Manager www.RiverStreetSweets.com
asked May 30, 2012 in General Questions by Raven Norman (740 points)   4 22 31

1 Answer

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We use the two pass, Authorize and then Capture later system instead of straight Capture mostly for errors in our inventory or other hiccups.  If we were to capture the full amount up front, it is much harder to make adjustments later if we find one of the pieces on an order is broken in our warehouse, or if we have made an inventory error, or if the customer calls five minutes after they place an order (which is actually more often than you'd think) to change something on their order.

The Authorization time generally depends on the bank and the card type itself.  We see a lot of 5-7 business days for authorizations to go away on debit cards.  For Credit cards the authorizations are generally good for up to 30 days.  So unless you cancel void the authorization, the money will be held from their account for 30 days.
answered Jun 21, 2012 by Lee Faircloth (270 points)   2 5 9