How Does Online Shopping Work? Understanding Credit Card Transactions; the Authorization and Capture Process, with no humor, but lots of facts.
Q. How do I know when my account will be charged?
A. The first step of an online Credit Card Purchase is the Authorization Step. This is when you enter your Credit Card information and place your order online and get emailed a receipt. When our gateway checks your card for all the fraud issues and finds it to be a good card, your bank then immediately places a hold on the funds in your account and sets those funds aside for the online shop. The online shop (Artisan Socks, Amazon, Zappos..) does not yet get the funds, but your account appears to have been charged and you cannot access those funds.
Allow me to repeat this; The money is being held by YOUR bank until the Capture Stage which we never reach if your oder was declined or voided.
Q. What is the Capture Stage?
The Capture Stage is when we (the online shop) actually get the funds from your bank and transfer them into ours. This happens only on the day that your order ships. The funds that were authorized and set aside for us are then collected by us, and we send you your item.
Q. What's the point of that system?
A. The point of the Authorization-Capture Process is to protect both you and the online store. Your bank shows your account as charged so you that consider those funds as gone, yet we don't get them until they day we ship (Did you know that this is the law? We can't take your money into our account until we are ready to send you your goods) so that we never have your money without immediately sending you your product.
Also we never ever have your Credit Card information on file. Once you place your order, your personal information is protected so that even we cannot look at it.
Q. Why do I need to know this?
A. For several reasons, but mostly so you don't panic, and also so we can help you with YOUR bank if we need to.
Confusing? Let me try to explain a little more.
Our gateway, or the program / bank resource that checks your credit card's address and other information for validity is often much stricter than your bank. Scary but true.
In some cases, you will try to place aqn order with us, but the order will be declined because some information you gave us didn't match what the central gateway has on file for you. Maybe you moved recently and the banks still have your old address on file, maybe your CCV code was worn and you mis-read it, any of those cases will result in a DECLINE by our merchant account.
Once you order is declined, we no longer have any access to your credit card details and all our account shows us is a "Declined" message. We can't go in at a later time and capture these funds; they're gone to us for good.
**VERY VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION**
Your bank may show transactions like these (ones declined by our gateway for security reasons but that your bank allowed), as well as orders placed then cancelled as "Authorizations" meaning they (YOUR BANK) are freezing these funds (I can not stress this enough, in this situation we don't have your money, nor do we have access to it!). Uncaptured Authorizations fall off in a few to 30 days in general. If you need that money freed up for personal use sooner, YOU MUST HAVE THE CARD ISSUING BANK CALL US FOR A CONFERENCE CALL SO WE CAN GIVE THEM THE DECLINE CODE AND TRANSACTION ID. WE CAN NOT CALL THE BANK ON YOUR BEHALF BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE YOUR CARD INFO AND THEY WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO AUTHORIZE REMOVING THE AUTHORIZATION!!
Still have Questions? Call Our Toll Free Number and we’ll be happy to help: 1.888.34.SOCKS