How to Handle Expired Capture Authorization

January 17, 2012 | |

When collecting payments online you’ve generally got two options regarding when you get paid. Either your payment processor captures the customer’s funds as soon as they click on the Confirm button, or they Authorize the order at that point and actually capture the funds when the order is marked as having been shipped. When Authorization and Capture are two different steps in the process, there’s a limit to how much time can pass between them.

Most payment processing companies give you 30 days to process and ship orders before capturing an authorized payment, but it is always recommended that you find out for sure by speaking to a customer service representative from your processing company. Your processor may allow more or less time depending on their internal policies. If you don’t ship the order within the time frame, it expires and the Authorization Code stored with the order in ProStores is no longer valid. When that happens you’ll need to follow these steps in order to ship the order and collect payment:

  1. Login to your Payment Processor’s Online Virtual Terminal. Some companies may refer to it by another name – if you are unsure where to login you should contact your processing company’s customer support.
  2. Process the payment manually using the information stored with the customer’s record in your store. For anonymous orders you’ll need to have your store’s Retain And Show Credit Card Details settings enabled (two check boxes under Store Settings > Payment Prefs)
  3. Login to your store’s ProStores Administration Panel and close the store.
  4. Navigate to Store Settings > Payment Prefs, change the payment processor to None and submit
  5. Under Orders > Ready For Shipping, you can now ship the order where Authorization had expired
  6. Return to Store Settings > Payment Prefs and re-enable your payment processor.
  7. Open the store again (opening and closing the store can be done from the Home Screen, the Store Settings > General Screen or from the Store Settings Screen)
  8. Note: The Shipping confirmation emails and other Prostores order functionality will still work as it normally would.

The reason the above steps direct you to close your store while processing the expired orders is to avoid the problems that would arise if a customer were to complete an order during the time your payment processor was disabled. In general we recommend only selling products that can be shipped within a few days (or weeks at most) of the customer’s purchase. If your store allows back-ordering, be sure to keep inventory up to date and deactivate products that are discontinued or will not be restocked for more than a month.


Sean has been programming since first learning BASIC back in 1990. He has worked in the website development industry since its inception and has been working with IntuitSolutions since January 2006. Prepared for a career in systems administration by Drexel University, Sean is our Server Administrator and he works hard to make sure our equipment is efficient and reliable. He has been working with PHP and other powerful, web-friendly languages since the 90′s.