Partial Payment Authorization Now in Effect, Part 2

What does this mean for the merchant? 

Merchants will need to pay close attention to the authorization message and receipts being returned at the point of sale. In cases where only a partial authorization is returned, the merchant will need to collect another form of payment for the difference. In the instance where the cardholder does not have another form or payment to pay the difference or wants to use a different form of payment for the full amount, a real time partial authorization reversal must be performed in order to free up the funds that were previously held up by the authorization. See the sample receipt below:

Sample Receipt

If the cardholder uses another card for the remaining amount due, are the transactions linked in any way? 

No. For example, if the original request was for $100 and $71.99 was partially authorized on the debit or prepaid card, the debit card receipt and all terminal and transaction reports would show the $71.99. Then a new card based transaction may be initiated for the remaining $28.01 and a new receipt would print with the new transaction and separate authorization codes and all reports would report this as a separate transaction. HelpTrak and TransLink reporting will show both transactions with the authorization and original authorization fields as appropriate.

What benefit does this provide to my merchants? 

It will hopefully result in fewer declined transactions at the point of sale. In addition, it will provide prepaid gift cardholders with an account balance for ease of future purchases.

What POS terminals support Partial Authorizations? 

Hypercom T4205

All Core Terminals will support partial authorizations and reversals. At this time, the terminal vendors are working to get POS applications certified. We will release the list and the dates as soon as the information is confirmed.

Will all of my existing merchants be updated to a certified application once they are all available? 

We will not be converting merchants proactively. If a merchant contacts us and is in need of a new download, they will be updated to a terminal application that supports partial authorization and will be trained on it accordingly.

For merchants using a VAR application, they will need to work with their software vendor.

Does this apply to all merchants? 

The mandate is actually driven by MCC. Card not present merchants are not included at this time but because most common card present merchants are, we have made the decision to turn this functionality on for all new merchant POS Terminal implementations where the POS terminal device supports it.

What if a merchant wants to turn off the partial authorization functionality? 

Since the mandate is driven by MCC, we cannot allow the partial authorization functionality to be turned off on either HMS Express or on the POS Terminal if the merchant is in a required MCC. The system will prevent the functionality from being removed if the merchant is in one of the required MCC categories.

What if a merchant calls in because they did not get the full amount from the cardholder as they didn’t realize the transaction was only partially authorized? 

Since this is a mandate, the merchant does not have the ability to chargeback the transaction. If the merchant wants to remove the partial authorization feature, we can only do that if they are not in a required MCC category e.g. card not present or ecommerce environment.

Can a recurring payment authorization get partially authorized? 

Recurring payment authorizations will not get a partial authorization response and recurring payments are not included in the mandate at this time.

What reporting will be available to show Partial Authorization activity? 

All reports showing authorization activity already show partially authorized transaction activity. All internal, HMS Express and TransLink authorization activity reporting will be enhanced to show additional fields when provided by the front end system. These include the original requested amount, the partially authorized amount and authorization reversals will now be added to the reports regardless of whether it was a partial authorization or a fully voided authorization.

How will the POS Terminal reports change? 

Verifone VX510LE

The POS terminal reports will report the authorized amount of a partially authorized transaction. This would match the current reporting. So on a $100 request, where $71.99 was partially authorized, the terminal would report the $71.99. If the transaction is reversed, the reversal would act in exactly the same way as a full reversal and not report the $71.99 amount.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources for you to download and print out:

  • Download our Hypercom T4205 Partial Authorization flier here.
  • Download our step-by-step guide on how to use Partial Authorization with a Hypercom T4205 Terminal here.
  • Download our Verifone VS510LE Partial Authorization flier here.
  • Download our step-by-step guide on how to use Partial Authorization with a Verifone VX510LE Terminal here.

Partial Authorization, Part 1

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