How Does An Online Credit Card Transaction Work?

A credit card transaction consists of the following steps:

  1. AUTHORIZATION. When you submit your order, we send a message to your credit card company requesting an authorization (also known as an APPROVAL) for the total dollar amount of your order. An authorization reduces the available balance on your credit card and reserves the funds for future capture. Please note that an authorization does NOT actually deduct funds from your account.
    • If the billing address or CVV code you entered does not match what is on file with your credit card company, but the credit card company approves the authorization anyway, then we immediately respond requesting that it VOID the authorization. Our website will then display an error message and ask you to correct the billing address and/or CVV code.
    • When your credit card company approves an authorization request, it effectively holds the funds approved, and makes that portion of your credit limit (or bank balance, in the case of debit cards) unavailable to you until it processes the void request we sent to it. We have no control over how quickly your credit card company processes the void request. Most credit card companies and banks take 2-7 business days to process a void request. The funds, although not drawn by us, may be unavailable to you for other uses until your credit card company processes the void request and releases the authorization.
  2. CAPTURE. After your order ships, we send a message to your credit card company asking them to "capture" or convert an authorized transaction amount into a transaction that is debited from your credit card or bank account.

Please note that if you check your credit card activity online you may see authorized, but non-captured, transactions on your statement. These transactions may be noted as "Pre-Authorized", but some credit card companies do not distinguish between authorized and captured transactions. The total amount that appears to be charged to / deducted from your account may, in circumstances like the VOID request mentioned above, appear on your online statement as an amount different from that of the final captured amount.