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A credit card transaction can seem simple on the surface, but once you start accepting payments online, you can quickly become confused with all of the transaction specific terms. On this page, we will introduce you to the different terms and explain the lifetime of a transaction.

Developer? See our documentation here.


An authorization (also referred to as a reservation) of a transaction is the first step in the lifetime of a transaction. When authorizing a transaction we ask the cardholder's bank (issuing bank) if we can reserve the transaction amount on the card.

The issuing bank responds with either success or failure to reserve the amount.

If we receive a failure message, we also receive an error code explaining the reason. Depending on the issuing bank we receive different error codes. Here are some common errors on authorizations:

  • Insufficient funds
  • Wrong card number
  • Card lost or stolen

Read more about transactions errors here.

If we receive a success message from the issuing bank, we have the following possibilities for the transaction:

  • Void
  • Capture

An authorized transaction is valid for 180 days whereafter it expires and automatically becomes void. You can void and capture payments directly in your Paylike dashboard, through most of our plugins and via the API.

You can charge your customers in any currency.

Learn more about creating transactions in our documentation or start accepting transactions with one of our plugins or our payment link.


To void a transaction means to cancel the authorization and remove the reservation of the money on the cardholder's account. A transaction can either be partial or fully voided in Paylike.

Once you have voided a transaction amount, you can not capture it again.

You should void a transaction if the transaction is not to be captured, e.g. in the case that the customer cancels the order before you have shipped it.

Once the full transaction amount has been voided, no further actions can be made on the transaction.


To capture a transaction means to move either a partial or the full amount of the authorized transaction from the cardholder's account to your Paylike account. You can never capture more than the authorized transaction amount.

You should capture the transaction once you have delivered the sold goods or service to the customer.


Once a transaction has been captured, you can refund either the full or part of the captured amount.

A refund in Paylike is irreversible. Once a day refunds (and captures) are transferred through the card network (Visa, Mastercard), giving a minimum delay of 1 day. Issuing banks are, unfortunately, typically slow to place refunded amounts on the cardholders accounts, why it's normal a refund can take 5-8 days before the cardholder can see it.

If more than 8 days has passed and your customer claims the refund hasn't arrived, ask the customer to contact their bank. If the customer's bank is unable to locate the refund, contact us to receive tracking information.


Once a transaction has been captured it is subject to Visa and Mastercard's consumer protection and may be disputed, e.g. if you fail to deliver the product or service.

Settlement of a captured transaction

Depending on your settlement and reserve terms, the captured transaction will be settled (transferred) from your Paylike account to your designated bank account on a fixed schedule.

Read more about settlements here.

This is a simplified description of the lifetime of a transaction.

Further reading:

If you have questions about transactions or using Paylike, you can contact us here.