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ORSLLC

How can I pre authorize a card?

We run a business where our customers "rent" an item. Before they rent they have to put their credit card on file for a $250 deposit.  If they do not return the item their card gets charged the $250.

 

Lately we've had a lot of this item walking away and cards being declined.

 

Is there a way to check to make sure the funds/card is good before we accept that card for the deposit? And avoid when we go to charge the card the $250 deposit and the card getting declined?

 

Thanks

Message 1 of 134
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1 Verified Answer
Verified Answer

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

@ORSLLC Thanks for the question!

 

@mremele Thanks for your help! You're on the right track with this one. 👍🏻 

 

Currently, Square Point of Sale doesn’t offer the ability to pre-authorize cards. While this feature isn't something that's available right now, I can definitely see how it would be helpful. I would caution you to avoid using refunds a workaround, as it can tie up your customer's money for up to 7 days (depending on their bank). A better option may be to charge a percentage up front as a down payment, and then subtract this amount from their final bill. 

 

One thing to note is that the ability to pre-authorize is something that you can do if you use Square Appointments. If a business is set up to accept pre-payments for online bookings and also to confirm client-booked appointments, Square will authorize the card at the time of booking, and keep a hold on that amount for 3 days. When you go in to confirm the appointment, we'll bill the card. I recognize that using our Appointments software may not work well for all types of businesses (like equipment rental businesses), but it is an option for those offering service-based business like salons, etc. Learn more about scheduling and setting up appointments

133 REPLIES 133
mremele

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

I don't believe Square has a way to simply verify an account. However, you could charge the $250 then immediately refund it (or refund when the item is returned).  When you refund an item, Square returns all the funds back to the customer and to you. It doesn't cost anything.

Message 2 of 134
17,928 Views
Sean Square

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

@ORSLLC Thanks for the question!

 

@mremele Thanks for your help! You're on the right track with this one. 👍🏻 

 

Currently, Square Point of Sale doesn’t offer the ability to pre-authorize cards. While this feature isn't something that's available right now, I can definitely see how it would be helpful. I would caution you to avoid using refunds a workaround, as it can tie up your customer's money for up to 7 days (depending on their bank). A better option may be to charge a percentage up front as a down payment, and then subtract this amount from their final bill. 

 

One thing to note is that the ability to pre-authorize is something that you can do if you use Square Appointments. If a business is set up to accept pre-payments for online bookings and also to confirm client-booked appointments, Square will authorize the card at the time of booking, and keep a hold on that amount for 3 days. When you go in to confirm the appointment, we'll bill the card. I recognize that using our Appointments software may not work well for all types of businesses (like equipment rental businesses), but it is an option for those offering service-based business like salons, etc. Learn more about scheduling and setting up appointments

Message 3 of 134
30,876 Views
scooterjoes

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

Square should implement preauthorizations.  

 

A % charge is not really workable.  If I rent an electric bike for $40 but my security deposit is $250, the % approach is not plausible.  Preauthorizations are a simple implementation.  It's just a new transaction type (I've implmented them on other systems) so far as the back end is involved and all credit card companies support this today ... just reserve a hotel room.  Further, other processors support a preauth.

 

How many signatures on a petition does Square need to get this done?

Message 4 of 134
17,758 Views
ocho

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

I am running a guest house and require this functionality urgently.  It is very frustrated when trying to charge "no show" penalty but then the card declined. 

Message 5 of 134
16,722 Views
TheSanctuaryBnB

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

I would also greatly appreciate this feature as a B&B owner. Given that fees are higher for manually entered transactions, we would prefer not to do a full charge when we get a booking. Not being able to do pre-authorizations is a significant issue. It is one feature that I would very much like to see implemented.

Message 6 of 134
16,708 Views
bradengw

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

I need Square to process CC Authorization only for taking deposits for VRBO accomodations. If Square had that capability I would completey ditch my Costco merchant account.

Message 7 of 134
16,627 Views
FordFood

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

Please add this option. When we let someone run a tab at our bar, we need to be able to check if it is a valid credit card. This is a common feature and I know it could be a dealbreaker with some vendors when deciding whether to use Square.

Message 8 of 134
12,152 Views
Spenser Square

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

We'll update this thread should it become available, @FordFood. Thanks for posting and keep an eye out. 

Message 9 of 134
12,147 Views
Acadia1

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

It's very frustrating that this highly requested feature that is used by all other credit card processing companies doesn't seem to be a high priority for Square.

Message 10 of 134
12,135 Views