April 13, 2023


In payments terminology, capture means the process of transferring funds from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account, i.e. the point at which the merchant receives payment. This takes place after the transaction has been authorized. In IXOPAY, the capture process is handled by its own dedicated transaction type.

Authorization is the process of verifying that a customer has sufficient funds to cover the cost of a transaction. No funds are transferred as part of the authorization process.
The actual transfer of funds is covered by the capture process, which takes place after authorization.

A payment goes through various stages as part of its lifecycle. As part of the payment process, the payment details (account number, account holder etc.) need to be verified, as does the customer’s ability to cover the cost of the payment. This is part of the authorization process. If the payment details are incorrect, a credit card has been canceled or the customer lacks funds, the payment cannot be completed. Ensuring that the payment can go through is a vital part of the payments process.

A transfer of funds - the capture itself - is necessary to ensure that the merchant gets paid for delivering goods or services. However, payment is only possible if the payment details are correct and sufficient funds are available.

Both these steps are thus vital to ensuring that merchants get paid and that transactions are not completed (and no goods/services are delivered) in cases where a transfer of funds would not be possible.

Captures can fail for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons for failure is due to technical issues with the capture request. Other reasons can include the customer canceling the payment (e.g. a subscription), incorrect or missing information in the capture request, or because too much time (typically 7 days) has passed since the initial authorization and the capture.

Depending on the situation, you can retry the capture request. If too much time has elapsed since the authorization request was submitted, this is your only option, and you will also need to re-authorize the transaction. 

Depending on the PSP you are using, they may automatically retry the capture at a later date, especially if the capture failed for technical reasons. In some cases, you may need to contact your payment provider directly.

Before a payment can be captured, it first needs to be authorized. This process verifies that the payment information is correct and that the customer has sufficient funds to cover the cost of the transaction. To capture a payment, a capture request needs to be submitted.