PayPal - Auth Capture

PayPal - Auth Capture

The PayPal Auth Capture Service allows you to authenticate a PayPal user and reserve funds on their PayPal account using Express Checkout. Settlement of the funds takes place at a later time, once you are ready to ship.

When using this service, there are four stages to the payment cycle:

  • re-direct customer PayPal

  • authorisation of payment

  • reservation of funds

  • settlement / capture of funds

The first and second stages are as outlined in the PayPal Express Checkout Service

Reservation of Funds

Once the payer is re-directed back to your website, your system sends a request to the DPG which returns details about the customer verification.

If these details are in order, further requests are sent to the DPG, which result in the funds for the full order amount being reserved on the Payer's account.

Capture of funds

Once the items within the order have been shipped, your system sends a capture request which results in the funds for that shipment being automatically transfered from the Payer's account into your PayPal merchant account.

Multiple or split shipments may be made and charged separately, if required.

It is also possible to cancel outstanding funds, if the order or part of the order is not shipped.


Before you can go live with the Service, you will need the following:

  • A PayPal Merchant account

  • An account with MasterCard Payment Gateway Services configured for PayPal

Transaction Processing Models

Using this Service the payment flow for each customer does not need to be completed within three hours. Settlement may be delayed until goods are ready to be shipped and funds debitted from the Payers account for each shipment.

Situations in which this could be implemented include:

  • Physical goods that will be shipped same day

  • Ordered Items are not currently available

  • Additional in-house processes need to be completed prior to settlement

  • Shipment of goods will be split, the cardholder can be charged for each individual shipment

Several of the transaction methods used for this service are the same as for the Express Checkout Service. These are:

Transaction Type



Initiates transaction


Obtains results of customer verification process


Verifies payment details and creates a 29 day long order period


Uses an existing transaction to returns funds to a Payer

Reserve Funds

Once the 29 day order period has been created, the value of the payment needs to be reserved on their PayPal Account.

Transaction Type



Reserves funds for total value of transaction on Payers account

A successful authorization includes an honor period of 3 days, during which PayPal will honor 100% of the authorized funds. You may request an authorization on an order up to 10 times, up to 115% of the originally authorized amount (not to exceed an increase of $75 USD). If the payment has not been captured after day 4 of the authorization period, you may initiate another authorization, which will start a new three-day honor period. However, it will not extend the authorization period past 29 days.

Capture Funds

When using this Service, no funds are settled to the merchant's account until a successful capture is complete.

Transaction Type



Transfers funds from PayPal User to PayPal Merchant Account

Multiple do_capture requests may be performed against a single do_authorization. This enables orders which will be completed in several shipments to be individually charged as they are shipped.

As PayPal accounts can be restricted by the PayPal fraud department at any time, the capture of funds cannot be guaranteed outside of the 3 day honour period. It is best practice to capture the funds during the honour period and before the goods are shipped.

Void Outstanding Funds

Once all required funds have been captured, any remaining amount on the authorisation may be voided. This allows your system to free up the outstanding balance of the authorisation.

Situations in which this could be implemented include:

  • Customer cancellations - for systems allowing the customer to cancel an order after placement

  • Physical Shipment - not all items with the order can be shipped, the value of the outstanding funds can be cancelled

Transaction Type



Releases remaining reserved funds back to the Payers account

Performing Transactions

Each transaction type requires specific information to be provided. In addition to those listed, each requires a client and password - these are security details which identify your account.

Set Express Checkout

The information required for the set_express_checkout is nearly the same as for the PayPal Express Checkout Service. There is one additional piece of information to provide:

  • payment_action needs to be set to order

Get Express Checkout Details

The information required for the get_express_checkout_details is the same as for the PayPal Express Checkout Service.

Do Express Checkout Payment

The information required for the do_express_checkout_payment is nearly the same as for the PayPal Express Checkout Service. There is one additional piece of information to provide:

  • payment_action needs to be set to order

If you wish to process the payment using Express Checkout, you may convert the existing transaction by specifying the payment_action to be sale.

Do Authorisation

To reserve the full value of the transaction on the Payers account, the following details are required:

  • the full value to be reserved on the Payers account

  • the transaction type of do_authorization

  • the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services reference of the set_express_checkout transaction. If you are using this service in conjunction with the Do Reference Service, this reference number will be taken from the do_reference transaction.

Do Capture

Once your are ready to ship items within the order, your system submits a request to initiate settlement of the funds. The information which is required for this is:

  • the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services reference of the do_authorization transaction

  • method must be do_capture

  • the value to be taken from the Payers account

In addition to these, there are also various optional fields which can be submitted. These include airline and flight data

If the do_capture completes the payments, you may cancel any remaining reserved funds on the account by supplying the completed field. This will mean you do not need to perform an additional do_void transaction.

Void Outstanding Funds

To release reserved PayPal funds back to the buyer, a do_void can be performed, with this information:

  • the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services reference of the do_authorization or do_express_checkout_payment transaction

  • method must be do_void

Refunding Transaction

Any successfully captured funds may be refunded using the txn_refund. The process for this is the same as PayPal Express Checkout, however the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services reference number provided in the request should the that of the do_capture.

The default timeline setting for PayPal refunds is up to 60 days. In order to change default settings the merchant is advised to contact their Account Manager.

Response Codes

When using this Service, the basic responses and error codes are the same as for the PayPal Express Checkout Service.


Like the Express Checkout Service, transactions are detailed in the PayPal section of the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Reporting system.