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Authorize.net pre authorization issue

Posted on 2010-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I'm having an issue with transactions being charged twice, The flag is set to capture only but the amount is being hold any advise an how to solve this issue
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Question by:a0k0a7
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6 Comments
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:coreybryant
ID: 34175618
You should contact Authorize.net customer service - they should be able to review the transactions in question and let you know what needs to be done.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sudaraka Wijesinghe
ID: 34175707
Which method of API are you using?

Capture only transactions does hold the amount (with out charging to the card) until you send the post authorization request.
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LVL 111

Accepted Solution

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Ray Paseur earned 668 total points
ID: 34175909
Not specific to Authorize.net, but in general credit card processing we can post a "temporary charge" -- often used as a deposit on a rent-a-car.  The charge is expected to be reversed when the car is returned.  No money actually changes hands, but it may lower the available credit of the renter.  You might be seeing something like this.
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LVL 29

Assisted Solution

by:coreybryant
coreybryant earned 664 total points
ID: 34176572
Basically, you should be doing a pre-authorization.  This will gaurantee the money for your business, usually 1-5 business days, depending on the issuing bank.  During this time, the money you have requested on the pre-authorizaion is yours.  After the expiration date, the money might no longer be guaranteed, but you still might be able to get the money

After calling Authorize.net so they can track a transaction, sign into the Authorize.net control panel to see if you have a pre-authorization.  

And of course, you are you completing the post-authorization / sale - through your website / API or the virtual terminal?
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Steve Bink
Steve Bink earned 668 total points
ID: 34178721
From the phrasing of your question, I will presume you are using the API.  For reference, the API manual is available here: http://www.authorize.net/support/AIM_guide.pdf.  The pages referenced below are from that manual.

When you first submit the transaction, you should be submitting it with the "AUTH_ONLY" x_type set (p.10, 12, 18).  This checks the account for sufficient funds to cover the transaction.  If no sufficient funds exist, this transaction should come back rejected.  If funds are available, your application should receive back a status and transaction ID.  You need to record this transaction ID for future reference.  As Ray_Paseur explained, the funds *may* be held at this point, but not necessarily.  The manual does not explicitly state the status of funds at this point, but IIRC (it's been a few years), it is up to the customer's credit provider, not Authorize.net, to dictate holding behavior.

As explained by coreybryant, your "AUTH_ONLY" transaction has an expiration date.  You have 30 days from the time you submit an "AUTH_ONLY" transaction to follow up with a "PRIOR_AUTH_CAPTURE" on the same transaction id.  (p.12)  A single set of an "AUTH_ONLY" request followed by a "PRIOR_AUTH_CAPTURE" request is considered a single transaction for the purposes of their API.  The transaction will not be sent for settlement until a "PRIOR_AUTH_CAPTURE" is received, even if the original "AUTH_ONLY" was successful.  Any "AUTH_ONLY" transaction not acted upon within 30 days is essentially voided/expunged and will not appear in your account reports with Authorize.net.  Once a "PRIOR_AUTH_CAPTURE" is successful, but before final settlement, the funds will definitely be on hold and reserved for your company.  After the batch is settled, you should have the funds.

You also have the option of sending a "VOID" for any current (i.e., non-expired) transaction that has not been sent for settlement.  This is somewhat redundant with "AUTH_ONLY" transactions, as you only need to let them expire.  

The duplicate charge issue you are seeing could be because you are sending a "AUTH_CAPTURE" or "CAPTURE_ONLY" on an existing "AUTH_ONLY" transaction.  Your application would also need to, at some point, send a "PRIOR_AUTH_CAPTURE" to send the "AUTH_ONLY" to settlement.  If you are sending a "CAPTURE_ONLY", that tells Authorize.net that you authorized this transaction at some point in the past without using their gateway, and are now acting on that authorization through the gateway.  That could bypass an existing "AUTH_ONLY" transaction sitting in your queue, only to have it submitted later by your application with an "AUTH_CAPTURE".

In my experience, all cases of unexpected behavior with Authorize.net's API are the result of bad application logic, so I would start by examining your process.  Make sure you are setting the x_type correctly, and try to limit how many different functions/methods actually call Authorize.net.  If you can not seem to make any headway in your code, coreybryant had the best recommendation - call Authorize.net for assistance.  They can't help you debug your program, but they can tell you what they see coming from it, and that should point you in the right direction.
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:a0k0a7
ID: 34185272
Thank you very much for your advise I am reviewing your tips to make the changes, I will award the points very soon, I sincerely appreciate your help on helping me resolve this matter.
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