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Capture payments

Learn about automatic, delayed, and manual capture of point-of-sale payments.

When a point of sale payment is Approved, it is processed in two steps:

  1. Authorisation: The card is verified with the issuer, and the funds are reserved for the transaction.
  2. Capture: The reserved funds are settled to your merchant account.

By default, these steps occur simultaneously. This means the payment is automatically captured immediately after authorisation. You can also capture the payment later, using either:

  • Automatic capture with a capture delay.
    This authorises the payment, and gives you a delay before the payment is captured automatically.

  • Manual capture.
    This only authorises the payment. To settle the payment, you need to make an explicit capture request.

Alipay and WeChat Pay do not support delayed captures or manual captures. With these payment methods, payments are captured immediately.

When you have set up a capture delay or manual capture, you can cancel the authorisation on an uncaptured payment, if necessary. This releases the funds back to the shopper.

Automatic capture

With automatic capture, payments are captured automatically, using the capture delay that you specify.

Capture delay

Capture delay is the time between payment authorisation and capture. By default, payments are captured immediately after authorisation. Setting up a delay between authorisation and capture gives you time to cancel the authorisation. This is useful when, for example:

  • A shopper changes their mind soon after purchase.
  • Store staff realize they made a mistake after a payment is Approved.
  • The shopper needs to provide a signature and store staff need some time to verify it.

Without capture delay, you would need to issue a refund in some of these situations.

To change capture settings, you need to have the Merchant admin role.

To set up a capture delay:

  1. Log in to your Customer Area.
  2. Switch to your merchant account.
  3. Go to Account > Settings.
  4. Select a POS Capture Delay of minutes, hours, or days before in-store payments are automatically captured.

    We recommend selecting a delay of 2 hours.

  5. Select Submit.

If you no longer want to use delayed capture, select immediate as the POS Capture Delay.

Manual capture

Depending on your business model, you may prefer to manually capture your point-of-sale payments instead of automatically. This lets you settle funds, for example:

  • On fulfillment: You capture the payment when an order is shipped.
  • On return: When the shopper returns unwanted items from an order, you capture the payment for the items they keep.

We recommend capturing a payment within 7 days of it being authorised. After this time, an authorisation may be cancelled by the issuer - releasing the funds back to the shopper.

With manual capturing, you can also cancel the authorisation. This releases the funds back to a shopper, and can be used in case of issues shipping an order, or when a shopper returns their whole order.

Enable manual capture

To change capture settings, you need to have the Merchant admin role.

To enable manual capture:

  1. Log in to your Customer Area.
  2. Switch to your merchant account.
  3. Go to Account > Settings.
  4. For the POS Capture Delay, select manual.
  5. Select Submit.

    If you no longer want to use manual capture, select immediate as the POS Capture Delay, or select a capture delay.

  6. Set up webhook notifications. Manual capture is an asynchronous operation. We inform you whether this is successful with a CAPTURE notification.
  7. Generate an API key. To make manual capture requests, you need to have an API key.

    If you are using cloud-based communications, you can use the existing API key you use for Terminal API calls.

Make a capture request

Capture in Customer Area

You can also manually capture payments in your Customer Area. For more information, refer to Manage payments.

When you have enabled manual capture, you need to capture each payment using the pspReference returned in its payment response.

You can request either a full or partial capture, but multiple partial captures are not supported.

To capture a payment:

  1. Make a POST request to the /payments/{paymentPspReference}/captures endpoint, specifying:

    • The path with:

      Parameter Required Description
      paymentPspReference -white_check_mark- The pspReference of the authorisation being captured.
      You received this as part of the transactionID field in the response to your payment request. See Transaction identifier.
    • The request header with:

      Parameter Required Description
      content-type -white_check_mark- application/json
      x-api-key -white_check_mark- Your API key.
    • The request body with:

      Parameter Required Description
      merchantAccount -white_check_mark- The name of your merchant account that is used to process the payment.
      amount -white_check_mark- The value and currency being captured.
      For calls to the /payments/{paymentPspReference}/captures endpoint, specify the value in minor units (without a decimal point).
      To capture the full amount, specify a value equal to the requestedAmount you authorised in the payment request.
      To make a partial capture, specify a value less than the requestedAmount you authorised in the payment request. The remainder is released back to the shopper's card.
      reference Optional Specifies a unique identifier for the payment modification. The reference field is useful to tag a partial capture for future reconciliation.

    The example below shows how you would capture a 5.00 EUR payment authorisation that has the pspReference 981517998282382C.

    curl https://checkout-test.adyen.com/v67/payments/981517998282382C/captures \
    -H 'x-api-key: YOUR_API_KEY' \
    -H 'content-type: application/json' \
    -d '{
            "merchantAccount": "YOUR_MERCHANT_ACCOUNT",
            "amount": {
                "currency": "EUR",
              "value": 500
            },
            "reference": "YOUR_UNIQUE_REFERENCE"
    }'
  2. In the capture response, note the following:

    • pspReference: The PSP reference associated with this capture request. This is different from the PSP reference of the original payment request.
    • status: received. Your capture request will be processed asynchronously. You will receive a CAPTURE notification with the result.

      {
      "merchantAccount": "YOUR_MERCHANT_ACCOUNT",
      "paymentPspReference": "981517998282382C",
      "pspReference": "8825408195409505",
      "reference": "YOUR_UNIQUE_REFERENCE",
      "status": "received",
      "amount": {
      "currency": "EUR",
      "value": 2500
      }
      }
  3. When you receive the CAPTURE notification, check the following:
    • success: Indicates whether the capture request was successful. Possible values:
      • true: The capture request was successful.
      • false: The capture request failed. The notification includes a reason field with a short description of the problem. Review the reason, fix the issue if possible, and resubmit the capture request.

For more information about the included fields, see the CAPTURE notification reference.

Cancel an authorisation

Cancel in Customer Area

You can also manually cancel uncaptured payments in your Customer Area. For more information, refer to Manage payments.

When you are using a capture delay or manual capture, you can cancel the authorisation on an uncaptured payment using an API call from your cash register.

But before you can do that, you need to have:

To cancel an uncaptured payment:

  1. Make a POST request to the /payments/{paymentPspReference}/cancels endpoint, specifying:
    You received the pspReference as part of the transactionID field in the response to your payment request. See Transaction identifier.
    • The request header with:
      Parameter Required Value or description
      content-type -white_check_mark- application/json
      x-api-key -white_check_mark- Your API key.
    • The request body with:
      Parameter Required Description
      merchantAccount -white_check_mark- The name of your merchant account that is used to process the payment.
      reference Optional A unique identifier for the cancellation.
    The example below shows how you would cancel an authorisation that has the pspReference 981517998282382C.
    curl https://checkout-test.adyen.com/checkout/v67/payments/981517998282382C/cancels \
    -H 'X-API-Key: YOUR_API_KEY' \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d '{
        "reference": "Cancel123",
        "merchantAccount": "YOUR_MERCHANT_ACCOUNT"
    }'
  2. In the /payments/{paymentPspReference}/cancels response, note the following: 
    • pspReference: The PSP reference associated with this cancel request. This is different from the PSP reference of the original payment.
    • status: received. Your cancel request will be processed asynchronously. You will receive a CANCELLATION notification with the result.
    {
    "merchantAccount": "YOUR_MERCHANT_ACCOUNT",
    "paymentPspReference": "981517998282382C",
    "pspReference" : "8412534564722331",
    "reference": "Cancel123",
    "status" : "received"
    }
  3. When you receive the CANCELLATION notification, note the following:
    • success: Indicates whether the cancel request was successful. Possible values:
      • true: The cancel request was successful.
      • false: The cancel request failed. The notification includes a reason field with a short description of the problem. Review the reason, fix the issue if possible, and resubmit the cancel request.

Failed capture

Although rare, a capture can fail after we have sent it for processing to the card scheme or third-party processor.
When a capture fails, you receive a notification webhook with eventCode: CAPTURE_FAILED.

Most of the time Adyen can fix the issue, so that you will eventually receive the funds. Sometimes, however, you need to take action yourself. To learn why a capture can fail and what, if anything, you need to do in each case, refer to Failed captures and refunds.

To learn how to test failed captures, refer to Testing failed captures.

An overview of failed captures is available in your Payment accounting report.

See also