Manually Capturing Transactions (Authorize Only)
What We'll Cover
This feature allows your payment gateway to authorize the charge without actually withdrawing the funds from the customer's account until you approve it. For example, some store owners prefer not to charge their customers until the order is ready for shipment. Using authorize only has other benefits like reducing fraud, reducing processing costs, and improving customer satisfaction.
Payment Gateways that Allow "Authorize Only"
- Amazon Pay*
- Cybersource (non-hosted)
- First Data Payeezy Gateway*
- Heartland Payment Systems
- Klarna Payments*
- PayPal Payflow Pro
- PayPal Payments Pro (Payflow Edition)*
- PayPal powered by Braintree*
- Sage Pay/Protx VSP Direct
- QuickBooks Payments*
*Only these payment gateways allow capturing funds from the BigCommerce control panel. For all others, log into your payment gateway's virtual terminal to capture funds.
Limitations of Authorize Only
Authorizations will expire after a certain amount of time. Depending on the gateway, this can be anywhere between 7 and 30 days.
Setting up Authorize Only
1. In your BigCommerce control panel, go to Store Setup › Payments.
2. Click on the tab of the payment gateway. Here we're using Authorize.Net.
3. Next to Transaction Type, select Authorize Only.
4. Save your changes.
Capturing Funds Within BigCommerce
You can only capture funds within BigCommerce if you are using the payment gateways with an asterisk (*) listed above. For all others, log into your payment gateway's virtual terminal.
Capturing Funds for a Single Order
1. Go to Orders › View.
2. Click the + icon next to the order you wish to capture funds for.
3. Click Capture Funds in the Billing section of the order details. A confirmation pop-up will display. Click Ok to capture funds.
If the funds are successfully captured by your payment gateway, you will notice the order's status change from either Awaiting Payment to Awaiting Shipment or Awaiting Fulfillment, depending on your gateway.
Authorization can expire! If for any reason the funds cannot be captured, an error message will display at the top of the of the View Orders screen. If this occurs, contact your payment gateway for additional information as the authorization may have expired.
Capturing Funds for Multiple Orders
1. Go to Orders › View.
2. Check the box next to the orders you want to capture funds for.
3. Select Capture Funds for Selected from the Choose an action menu, then click Confirm.
Q: How much of a window will I have to capture a transaction when set to Authorize Only?
- The capture window is determined by the payment gateway.
Q: How can using Authorize Only reduce fraud?
- One of the biggest benefits of authorize only is that the cardholder cannot dispute a transaction or issue a chargeback if funds have not been captured.
Q: How can using Authorize Only reduce processing fees?
- Some credit card processors charge a fee for chargebacks or refunds. A card that has not been charged does not need to be refunded. Additionally, refunds are often due to not having enough inventory to fulfill outstanding orders. By using authorize only, you do not have to issue refunds for orders that could not be shipped.
Q: How can using Authorize Only improve customer satisfaction?
- Echoing the above response: as a consumer, it's disappointing to pay for something and not get it. By not capturing an authorized payment, the customer has peace of mind knowing their account hasn't been charged for an out of stock item.
Having an easy to find, clear transaction policy can help set expectations. Something as simple as "your card will not be charged until your order has been processed" can go a long way towards improving customer relationships.