Card Transactions

Before starting up with actual API documentation, there are a few concepts that must be understood. On credit card processing, there are two main concepts which are fundamental parts of how funds go from the customer’s credit card to the merchant’s bank. Those are:

Authorization: performing a debit or credit on a credit card to test fund availability without actually deducting the funds from the card. This means the amount is blocked and cannot be used.

Settlement: the process of grouping all authorizations performed that day into a batch of transactions that is submitted to the processor to deduct the funds from the cardholders; typically processed nightly.

In order to keep those two concepts completely manageable for the merchant, the PayCertify Gateway has implemented a Transaction Event concept which is an append-only log that keeps the whole transaction lifecycle intact. There are five different types of these events:

  • An auth which stands for an authorization debit, with no settlement;
  • A capture which stands for an actual debit, by promoting a transaction with an auth event to settlement;
  • sale requests are exactly the combination of auth and capture, meaning it authorizes and flags that event for settlement;
  • A void which is an authorization credit, that cancels partially or fully a previous auth event;
  • refund stands for an authorization credit, plus an actual credit since it sends that record for settlement. It should be run after a capture or sale.

Special rules for Canadian Transactions


Scenario #1 Let’s say you want to charge a customer card for $10.00 and deduct those funds immediately our of their account. Then, on the next day, after settlement, you want to refund $5.00 to that customer. To accomplish that, you’ll run a sale event for $10.00 (which would both authorize the amount and flag it for batch settlement later that day) and then, on the next day, you could run a refund event for $5.00, and on the day after those funds would be credited back to your customer.

Scenario #2 Let’s say you want to authorize a customer card for $500.00 for a hotel room. Eventually, whenever that customer does the checkout, you’ll just bill $400.00. In that case, you could run an auth request for $500.00. After that, you’ll run a capture for $400.00. Once the customer does the checkout, you can void the missing $100.00.