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What is an Authorized (Provisional) Sale?


In the SPIKE system and in typical Credit Card Payment terminology, Provisional Sales are 1) known as Authorizations and 2) are related to a state that an Order transaction is in.

1. Credit Card settlements provide an Authorization mechanism.

Authorization is the mechanism that allows a Credit Card issuing company to secure a credit line, to be granted to the card holder. 

When an Authorization is made, it only secures the credit. This is a temporary state, and funds will not have actually been taken from the Cardholder. Therefore, it is later necessary to Capture a Sale to complete the process

Authorizations cannot be held indefinitely. They will eventually timeout, so you must remember to Capture.

2. Sales State

For Sales states, there are Authorized Sales and Captured Sales.

  • Authorized Sales: Sale recorded but not charged by the Card Issuer
    (= Credit has been approved only)
  • Captured Sales: Sales record and charged by the Card Issuer
    (= The cardholder is charged)

As described above, Authorized Sales will not charge the cardholder and therefore revenue from the order is not yet taken. It is important that to allow the Sale to increase your balance, you must Capture the sale.

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