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Knowing The Credit Card Authorization Codes Can Help Avoid Chargebacks
Is there really that much you need to know about credit card transactions? After all, a cardholder slips a chip card into your POS terminal and, moments later, approved or denied pops up on the screen.
Pretty straightforward, right? Well, maybe not.
The authorization process is complex. Knowing the difference between credit card authorization codes can mean the difference between a successful transaction and losing money to fraud. Knowledge of credit card authorization codes can even help you fight back against chargebacks in some cases.
In this article, well discuss what credit card authorization codes are and how they work. Well run down a list of standard credit card approval codes, and explain how to use them properly.
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What Exactly Is Credit Card Authorization
A credit card authorization form is a formal document signed by the cardholder who gives a company their permission to charge their credit card for a specific period of time. This document tells the duration for which the customer will be charged and the total amount the business will deduct from their account on a recurring basis.
These forms are mostly used for recurring transactions and when the credit card is not physically used at the store. Many retailers, especially those offering subscription-based services, have started using credit card authorization forms to validate the transactions and avoid any chargebacks. The authorization form protects a business from chargeback and other disputes that are likely to arise in the future.
How Do Credit Card Authorization Codes Work
Lets take a closer look at how these authorization codes work, starting with the transaction itself.
Arguably the number one core function of credit card processing is the ability for merchants to verify sufficient funds available to authorize sales. All merchant accounts are tied to a bank, helping the business to facilitate the transaction process. When a purchase is initiated, the merchants bank communicates with the issuing bank to request an authorization.
Rather than going through a complex back-and-forth communication process with paperwork, credit card processing companies created authorization codes to streamline the process.
The card issuer will respond to the merchants bank either authorizing or declining the transaction. If the customers credit card has sufficient funds or credit on the account, the authorization code gets sent back to the merchants bank for approval. The approval code generated is considered to be an indication of a successful credit or debit card transaction.
Heres an example of what an approved authorization code looks like:
After authorization has been approved, the credit card company puts an immediate hold on the cardholders account. Most authorization holds last anywhere from three to five business days, as this gives the merchant time to settle the charge.
From the customers account, the hold is typically shown as pending on their real-time statement. This is a normal for the authorization process.
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Whats A Recurring Credit Card Authorization Form
Get the rundown on credit card authorization forms to decide if theyre a good option for you.
Merchants and businesses use recurring credit card authorization forms to charge for their goods and services without needing a customer to be present. A customer authorizes the vendor to make a one-time or recurring charge to their account by signing this form.
Gym memberships, subscriptions, monthly utility bills, regular loan payments, car loans, student loans, well, you can just about name it they all use recurring credit card authorization forms.
Read on to learn more about how recurring credit card authorization forms work so you can make the right choices for your financial situation.
What Happens When You Swipe
When a card is swiped or entered into a website, the details of the transaction are sent electronically to the merchant acquiring bank. The bank transmits the details to the card issuer for authentication.
The card issuer checks all the details including the card number and type, its security code, and the cardholder billing address. Issuers have various procedures in place to ensure that a transaction is not fraudulent.
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What Is A Credit Card Authorization Code
cred – it card auth – or – i – za – tion codeissuing bank
How Does a Credit Card Authorization Code Work?
During a sales transaction, an authorization code is sent from an issuing bank with the message to either authorize or decline a sale. The outcome depends on whether the customer has sufficient funds or credit to purchase the product or service in question. If the customer does not have sufficient funds , the message signals to decline the transaction.
If the customer does have sufficient funds, the message is to approve the transaction, and the code itself can be used to verify that the transaction was approved.
Want to read more on this topic? Check out our related resources:
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Secure Cardholder Data With Payment Tokenization
We hope this article helped illustrate the differences between payment authorization and settlement, the two-stage processes involved in credit card processing. Aside from knowing how this process works, its also essential to secure cardholder data to prevent payment fraud, chargeback fees, loss of profits, goods or services, and brand reputation. Todays customers expect businesses to do everything in their power to protect and secure their payment details. If you dont, they will probably take their business elsewhere. Learn more about our payment tokenization at TokenEx, so your business can enjoy improved payment security and fewer false declines and chargebacks without sacrificing critical business operations.
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What Is A Credit Card Authorization Letter
When you write a credit card authorization letter, youre granting someone permission to use your card for a specific purpose. Its usually addressed to an institution or company, and it is only used on a one-time basis or for a limited time indicated in the letter.
The letter contains your written consent to use the card, as well as specific instructions on how and when it may be used by the recipient. Its purpose is to allow the merchant to use your credit card without you being present to do so yourself.
To better understand this, lets look at an example.
Travel agencies often ask for a credit card authorization letter when they book a trip on your behalf using your credit card details. By providing the letter, you consent to them using your card to book the trip. The letter also protects them from any liability in case you decide to dispute the transaction later on.
Besides booking a holiday with a travel agent, there are a few other common scenarios when you may need to write a credit card authorization letter.
A credit card authorization letter shouldnt be confused with being an authorized user. An authorized user is like a secondary account holder that has continuous access to the account and can use it to build credit.
What Is A Credit Card Authorization Key
A credit card authorization key is a code that is used to process transactions. The code is not visible to customers or merchants, but is instead transmitted in encrypted form between the merchants point of sale system and their payment processing provider.
The terms “key” and “code” are often used interchangeably because processing a credit card transaction securely involves using a data encryption methodology called “PKI,” or “Public Key Infrastructure.”
Once the payment processor has confirmed that the customer has sufficient funds to complete the transaction, the credit card authorization key is sent back to the POS system, causing the credit card transaction to be approved.
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Recurring Or Ongoing Payments
Known as card on file transactions, this occurs when the cardholder authorizes the business to charge them for recurring payments. For example, if you offer subscription-based services, you can charge the cardholder for the subscription. This option is much more convenient because it automates the transaction for both you and the customer.
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What Does Credit Card Authorization Mean
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A request that is carried out in order to ensure that a credit card is approved when being used for a purchase transaction. A credit card authorization is free from fees, although a nominal amount may be secured for two to three banking days and then returned to the account.
A credit card authorization can check to see if a credit card is valid, if it is stolen, or if there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the purchase. When a credit card is not authorized you will not be able to go ahead with the purchase. When the credit card is physically present and is not authorized under some circumstances it will be kept by the merchant and returned to the issuer.
If the transaction is authorized an authorization hold is placed on the customers credit account for the amount of the sale. A credit card authorization code is sent to the merchant to inform them that the transaction is approved. The actual payment is not made at this stage, with the authorization simply acting as an acknowledgement that sufficient funds are available for the transaction. This process is nearly instantaneous, and in the case of online purchases the transfer of the funds happens automatically after the authorization is produced.