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What do capture, release and pre-authorization payment mean?
What do capture, release and pre-authorization payment mean?

Know what it means to pre-authorize, capture and release payment

Eric Plamondon avatar
Written by Eric Plamondon
Updated over a week ago

Capture and release payment refers to whether you'd like to charge (capture) or not charge (release) the preauthorized charge on the booking.

What is pre-authorization?

A pre-authorized charge is a transaction occurring with the Credit Card institution, validating and reserving a booking amount, on the client’s Credit Card. No funds have been transferred, only reserved.

In another word, Credit Card institutions will check the availability of the authorized amount in the customer's credit card. Then, a hold will be placed on the card for that amount for a particular tenure.

  • Fund are held for a maximum of 7 Days

  • Authorization expire automatically after 7 days.

  • You can pre-authorize the same booking again by simply clicking on the Preauthorization button.

Anything you want to do related to payments like Preauthorize, Capture, Release or Refund > Everything can be done from your PodiumIO account itself.

Preauthorize, Capture and Release button are all under Customer's Booking Profile > On the right menu below actions > Payment Processor - Stripe

To clarify further, here is a sample scenario:

Scenario 1. When a booking comes in and your customer enters their credit card information, the charge automatically gets pre-authorized. Then what you will see would be options for Capture and Release. (More on Capture and Release later)

Scenario 2. After 7 days of the booking, the pre-authorization expires. So if you go into the same booking, what you would see is a Pre-authorize button now. You can then click on this button to pre-authorize that amount for this booking again. Once you have Pre-authorize, the Capture and Release button should also be available in the same area.

What does capture & release mean?

A captured charge is a transaction occurring with the Credit Card institution, in which funds are transferred from the institution to your Stripe account.

🔵 Capture: If you press capture, then PodiumIO will capture (i.e. charge) the preauthorized amount on the client's credit card

🔴 Release: If you press release, the preauthorized amount on the card will be canceled and funds are transferred back to the customer's credit card. After 7 days, non-captured funds are released automatically.

If you do not Capture or charge the customer within 7 days, Stripe will automatically release the pre-authorization. You can still charge the card after 7 days. The only difference is the funds are no longer being “reserved” in a hold for your business”. You can also again pre-authorize the booking amount.

For recurring bookings, you can pre-authorize the card anytime before the service. We recommend you only do so within 7 days of the actual service being completed

Note. You cannot capture more than the authorized amount.

If the amount is released, you can simply go back to the booking and either pre-authorize it again (if the service is not completed) or charge the customer (if the service was completed)

To summarize, here are the 3 scenarios -



Booking Amount Status

What you can do?

1. When the customer creates a booking

The booking amount is pre-authorized (checked for availability & reserved for you)

Money is still in customer's account

2. If the booking is charged within 7 days of pre-authorization

PodiumIO will display an option to capture the pre-authorized booking amount.

The Booking amount is reserved for you to capture.

Capture the pre-authorized amount

3. If the booking is charged after 7 days of pre-authorization

The pre-authorized booking amount is released (has expired), if you wish you can again pre-authorize the booking amount.

If not again pre-authorized, Reserved funds are released back to the client's credit card.

Simply "charge customer using your PodiumIO account"

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