A pre-authorisation is used to seek authorisation for a transaction and reserve the funds on the customer’s account, in cases where the final amount to be debited from the customer is not known at time of authorisation. By default, the funds reserved by pre-authorisations are typically settled within 24 hours, but if required, they can be deferred for up to 31 days. If the transaction is not settled within this time-frame, we will automatically cancel the transaction and the funds will be released back into the customer’s bank account.
Pre-authorisations are most useful when employed in the following scenarios:
- The final amount to be debited from the customer is not yet known:
- You can update the final settle amount to be a lower value than the amount originally authorised.
- For those assigned with supported merchant category codes, Visa supports the processing of incremental authorisations in order to increase the final settle amount to a higher value than was originally authorised.
- The settlement time is not yet known:
- The funds can be settled for up to 31 days after authorisation.
- For those assigned with supported merchant category codes, Mastercard supports the processing of split shipments, to settle parts of the authorised funds as and when goods/services have been delivered, over a period of 31 days.
- Cancelling an order:
- You can cancel pre-authorisations without incurring penalties or additional charges from Mastercard or Visa.
Failure to adhere to these conditions may incur a fine from Mastercard.
For full terms and conditions, please contact your acquiring bank.
By default, authorisations are processed as final authorisations in cases where a distinction is required by the participating acquirer. You can change this default behaviour to submit pre-authorisations, by contacting our Support Team. Alternatively, you can override the default behaviour on a transaction-by-transaction basis by following the instructions below.
If you are not sure whether your site has been configured to process pre-authorisations or final authorisations, click here to learn how to check using MyST.
You will need to update the payload submitted within your JWT to include the additional field authmethod, with value “PRE”, as shown below. When submitted, this overrides the default settings on your account.
The authmethod field can only be submitted in THREEDQUERY and AUTH requests.
If a value for the authmethod field is submitted to the acquirer during authorisation, it will always be returned within the response.
The following payload example includes the authmethod field to override the account’s default setting to process a pre-authorisation: