Credit Card Capture

A Capture, also known as Credit Card Capture or Authorization Capture is the second step in the paying processing cycle, it is the actual beginning of the money transfer from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account. Prior to that, the funds are simply reserved from the customer’s account by means of an authorization, which is the payment validation.

In order to proceed with the payment process after an authorization has taken place, the bank first needs to get a capture order. A capture order is the instruction from the merchant to the financial institution to deduct the funds from the debtor’s account. Although capturing funds before shipping is allowed, merchants are preferred to capture funds once the goods are ready to go or are already on its way since this practice entails a lower risk for both the customer and the merchant.

How can payment capture be done?

Payment capture can be done in two ways:

  • Automatically: At the time of authorization, funds are immediately captured.
  • Delayed: There is a time frame between authorization and giving the capture order to the bank. This period of time gives the merchant the opportunity to check in more detail the customer’s creditworthiness.

Visa and MasterCard rules expect merchants to only request a payment capture once orders are shipped. In other words, the card brands expect merchants to delay the credit card capture until the merchandise has been remitted to the courier.