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 which stands for performing a debit or credit on a credit card, on a blocking fashion, without actually deducting the funds from the cardholder’s card. That means the balance is just blocked and cannot be used.

Settlement which stands for a process that usually happens nightly, to get all the authorizations performed and group them in a batch of transactions, that are submitted to the processor for actually deducting the funds from the cardholder’s card.

In order to keep those two concepts completely manageable by the merchant, on PayCertify Gateway™ we have implemented a Transaction Event concept, which is an append-only log, that keeps the whole transaction lifecycle intact. There are five different types of 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.


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.