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Capturing payments

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

Automatic capture

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 and the payment is captured automatically.

Delayed automatic capture

Instead of capturing your payments immediately, you may want to delay the capture. This reserves the funds on the shopper's card, and gives you a delay before the payment is captured automatically. During this delay, you can cancel the authorisation 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.

Manual capture

Depending on your business model, you may prefer to manually capture your point of sale payments. 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.

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.

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

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.

You can find an overview of failed captures in your Payment accounting report.

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