Pre-authorize Credit Card Payments

In a basic payment flow, the payable amount from your payment request is authorized and captured immediately during the transaction flow, but sometimes you may want to charge the customer a different amount or extend the period of authorization to capture the payment at later point in time.
PayU’s pre-authorization (also card authorization, authorization hold or Auth and Capture) product allows merchants two-step card payments so you can temporarily block some amount of funds when a customer places an order (authorization) and then capture the amount later. If the order canceled by the customer within a specific time frame (typically 5-7 days), then you can mark the transaction cancelled and the amount goes back to the consumer’s original payment source instantly.



PayU currently supports Pre-authorization (Auth and Capture) for Visa, Mastercard and Amex Credit Cards.


  • Assurance that held funds are maintained by the payer up to 7 days.
  • No transaction cost (TDR) levied on the cancelled ordered.
  • Improved Customer experience as cancelled amount is instantly credited to the payer’s source account.
  • No chargeback liability until a capture of funds is made on the authorization request.


The following flow diagrams illustrates the difference between collecting payment without and with Auth and Capture:

  • Pre-authorization transaction checks the fund availability and holds the required funds on the payer’s card for up to 7 days.
  • A capture request is used to debit the funds from the payer’s card.
  • After an authorization has been made, you can capture either a partial amount (partial capture) or the full amount of the authorization.
  • PayU provides Auto Capture feature by default on 7th day of authorization initiation If there is no request of capture/cancel from merchant. Merchant can opt in for Auto Cancel or set a different Auto capture time for their authorization requests. 
  • Cancel is only applicable to the Authorization requests and any Authorization which is captured can only be refunded.

Note:  Refunds generally take up to 3-5 working days to be credited to the customer.

  • After the partial amount has been captured, releasing the balance amount is dependent on Issuer’s policy. The remaining amount will be processed for refund from our side once we receive partial capture.



PayU does not support multiple partial captures on a single authorization request.

Use cases

There are several use cases for adjusting an authorisation and few of the scenarios are:


  • At the checkout page of the hotel’s website, the hotel pre-authorises payment of the rooms that the guest pre-booked.
  • Before the arrival, the guests decides to cancel one of the pre-booked rooms. The hotel adjusts these expenses of their pre-authorized amount.
  • When the guest checks out, the hotel captures the final adjusted amount using partial capture.

Prepaid Services

For example, a self drive car renting platform, the merchants often collect security deposits along side the variable expenses. In this case merchant does a pre-authorize of the payment with some extra margins. At the end of the trip, the merchant adjusts the authorised amount and does a partial capture or full capture based on the expenses incurred. 

E-Commerce merchants

For example, a seller is running a promotional event, where a shopper pre-books a phone that will be released few days later. The phone seller pre-authorises the payment, but as they can only ship the product later, they need to extend the authorisation validity. This allows both merchants to capture the payment over an extended duration.

APIs used in Auth and Capture

The following APIs are used in Pre-authorization and you can refer the API Reference to get more details:

  • Pre-Authorize Payments: Pre-authorize payments using PayU Hosted Checkout integration. For more information, refer to Pre-Authorize Payment API under API Reference.
  • Capture a Pre-Authorized Payment: To capture a pre-authorized payment, use the following command. After the API command is successful, the transaction would be captured and settled to you. For more information, refer to Capture a Pre-Authorized Payment API under API Reference.
  • Check Refund Status: The check_action_status API is used to check the final status of refund as the request gets queued at PayU. For more information, refer to Check Refund Status API with Request ID under API Reference.

Cancel a pre-authorized payment

You can cancel a pre-authorized payment or refund. This command can be used for two different purposes:

  • To cancel a transaction which is in auth state at the moment
  • To refund a transaction which is in captured state at the moment.



If transaction is in the auth state, you can make full cancellation and not partial cancellation. For partial cancellation, you have to capture the amount and the remaining amount will get auto released.

You need to use the cancel_refund_transaction API to cancel the pre-authorized payment. For more information on cancel_refund_transaction API, refer to Refund Transaction API.