Feature Request: Pre-authorization, refundable deposits, and open bar tab support

Feature Request: Pre-authorization, refundable deposits, and open bar tab support

The title of this post has been edited from the original: 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?



3 Verified Answers
Verified Answer

Re: How to start a tab and give back customer card

Hey @1chuck2chuck-


Thanks for posting in the Seller Community!


While we do have an open tickets feature that will allow you to create a sort of "tab" for your customers, if you use a customer’s credit card to create a new open ticket, the card will not be charged at that time and their payment information will not be stored within the app. Right now Square does not offer the ability to keep card information stored on an open ticket. This is a feature we may make available in the future, however we do not have a timeline to share at the moment. Thanks for resurfacing this feature request. 


One of our Super Sellers, @ryanwanner provided a workaround suggestion in this thread that may be useful. 

Verified Answer

Re: Hardware of Register and Square Stand

Unfortunately Square doesn't allow for holding a tab open with credit cards at this point.


You can run open tickets and create a tab, but unless you physically hold onto the card there's no way currently.


This is a heavily requested feature here on the community, though, so hopefully.......?


The only way around it currently is Square's Card on File feature: you create a customer, enter their card info, then assign it to the ticket. It's cumbersome at best in a busy bar environment, though.


Verified Answer

Re: Checking to make sure card is good.

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, we can definitely see how it would be helpful.

We would caution you when considering using refunds a workaround, as the refund process can tie up your customer's money for up to 7 days (depending on their bank). Another option may be to charge a percentage up front as a down payment, and then subtract this amount from their final bill - potentially as a discount.


Another thing to note is that you can use Square Appointments to accept pre-payments for online bookings and 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.

We 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

596 Replies
Square Community Moderator

Hi and welcome back to the Seller Community! 👋


This would be considered a feature request at this time, @Beckybshart.


In the meantime, you may be able to  use Invoices Deposits to collect your clients security deposits and then refund the specific amount when done with the service.


I hope this information is helpful!

I have an idea for my business based around rentals. The value of the rental object is significantly higher than the ticket cost for any individual rental, and each object I'll be renting is quite costly to replace. I want to secure/mitigate my risk profile by using a security deposit. I think the best way to do this is a credit card hold.


While I can do deposits via creating an item called "Deposit" that I expect to refund, I don't think the refund flow is particularly customer-first. I can't refund to Debit cards if the card isn't present, and the Square documentation says a Credit refund can take up to 14 days. I also don't know if it will be used against me in the future if there's a dispute and Square sees that I have a really high return rate.


The deposits feature of invoices is also a poor fit. It's a workmanship/order deposit. It's designed to be a fraction of the total bill. A partial fraction, not 800%. To refund an invoices deposit, the docs say that I have to cancel the invoice. Which is just a mess at every layer.


Any other ideas or work arounds? I think this rental idea might be a "killer feature"* for my business, so I really want to ensure I have a good solution for the customer experience.

* Sorry, I come from a tech background. I don't know a less cheesy term.


The title of this post has been edited from the original: Credit Card Holds?

Is there any update on this feature? We have added multiple points of sale throughout our bar over the last year, and not being able to save and pre-authorize cards has become a huge bottleneck for us. Is this feature one that Square ever plans on implementing? 

Square Community Moderator

Hi there @PermafrostDes ❄️ 


This is a very popular feature request, and you've expressed your interest in a super helpful way here. I've moved your post to be the highlighted voice of a thread where we've been tracking interest in this feature for a while. If we have news to share, we'll post about it here as soon as we do! You should also find some suggestions here at the top of this thread in the meantime. 


I'm also curious to know if you've thought about leveraging Square Contracts to mitigate risk?

Beta Member

Thank you Valentina.


Square Contracts is an interesting option. I'll have to look at it more closely, but the little intro video seems like it might be viable. I'm most concerned about enforcement after the fact, but contract + card on file might be viable for the price range I need to work in.


A quick glance at Checkfront (from another answer) does not seem compatible with my needs, but I will give them a call to ask a few questions.

Square Community Moderator

I'm happy to hear one of these solutions may work for ya!


Let me know if other questions come up about anything you're considering, @PermafrostDes