When setting up a new Magento configuration, in the payments section I am given a couple different options for Payment Action under Authorize.net. Specifically Authoize and Capture and Authorize Only.

According to the Magento docs, Authorize Only confirms that the payment method is valid and the funds are available, but it doesn't actually charge the card, where as Authorize and Capture also places a hold on the card. When does Authorize.net take the money when the setting is set to Authorize Only?

  • My guess would be once the merchant marks the item as "shipped" in Magento, hopefully someone can confirm.
    – beeplogic
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 21:06
  • Or when the invoice is issued, as the invoice is related to money that you need to get from the customers :) Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


In order to Capture the payment, do the following steps:

  1. Select the order you'd like to capture the payment for (Sales->Orders in admin panel)
  2. Click the 'Invoice' button at the top right of the page
  3. Once in the invoice page, scroll down and select 'Capture Online' from the drop down menu
  4. Click the 'Submit Invoice' button
  5. Enjoy a vacation :)
  • 4
    Worth noting is that charges that have been Authorized but not Captured are only valid for a set amount of time. I recall 36 hours, but this could be incorrect and/or depend on a number of variables.
    – pspahn
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 22:42
  • 2
    Authorization Only transactions expire on the payment gateway after 30 days. The actual hold of funds on the customers card is somewhat dependent on the rules set by the card issuing bank, and commonly last for up to 30 days as well.
    – davidalger
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 3:09

Authorizing payment means the transaction amount is validated against the credit card used for the payment and put that amount on hold.

Capturing means the authorization and the fund transfer both will be done at the same time

Now in if you select authorize only as a payment action then you have option to capture the fund with 2 ways.

From Authorize .net Portal:

1) Log into your Merchant Interface.
2) Click Unsettled Transactions in the main left side menu.
3) Click the transaction ID for the transaction that you wish to capture.
4) Click Capture. A pop-up window titled Capture Transaction appears.
5) If desired, adjust the Settlement/Capture Amount. Note that you may only adjust the amount to a lesser value. The transaction cannot be settled for more than the original authorized amount, but may be settled for less than that amount.
6) Click OK.

From Magento System:

In order to Capture the payment, do the following steps:
1) Login into the admin panel
2) Visit Sales -> Order
3) From the grid Select the order for which you'd like to capture the payment from Sales -> Orders
4) Click the 'Invoice' button
5) Scroll down to the invoice page and select 'Capture Online' from the Amount drop down menu
4) Click the 'Submit Invoice' button

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