Managing payments

In this article, you will learn more about:

Payment status

In the Orders list, you will see the payment status of every order.


You will also see payment status at the top of every order detail page.  You can navigate to the order detail page by clicking on the Order number from the orders list.


Payment capture settings

Understanding the payment status requires a basic understanding of how credit card processors work to process payments.  There are two important steps to processing a credit card payment:

  1. The first step is called Authorization.  The process of authorizing a credit card puts a hold on a specified amount of funds on the cardholder's account.  If no further actions are taken with this authorization, it will generally expire within 3 to 30 days depending on the type of card and the policies of the issuing bank.  The cardholder will generally see an authorized transaction as a pending transaction on their credit card account.

  2. The second step is called Capture.  When you capture an authorized transaction, your credit card processor will add that transaction to a batch that will be settled for that day.  All of the transactions that make up a batch will be settled at a specific time (usually in the evening) and the funds will be deposit to your bank account as a single transfer the next business day.  The cardholder will now see the transaction posted to their credit card account.

If you navigate to Settings -> Payments on the left sidebar menu, you can configure payments to either be manually or automatically captured.


How you manage your orders depends on this setting:

  • If your store is set for automatic capture, every new order that you see in your orders list will always have a Paid status.  No further action is required in regards to the payment unless you later need to refund all or part of the payment.

  • If your store is set for manual capture, every new order will initially have a status of Authorized.  After you review the order for fraud and the availability of the ordered product(s), the next step in processing the order is to capture the payment.

Manually capturing payments

If you navigate to the order detail page for an order with a payment status of Authorized, you will see Capture Payment buttons at the top of the page and in the Payment section of the page.  The buttons at the top of the page are meant to be a guide to the next action that is required for an order that is not yet in a complete status.


If you click either of the Capture Payment buttons, you will then see a dialog box like the one shown below.  If all of the items and quantities are not available, you can adjust the quantities to those that are available to partially capture the payment.  You can repeat this process again when the additional items become available to capture the remaining amount up to the total that was authorized.  After making any necessary adjustments to the quantities, you can click the Accept button to complete the capture.


After completing the capture you will be redirected back to the order detail page.  You will now see that the payment status of the order is either Paid or Partially Paid.  The items that were paid will now be available for fulfillment (if applicable).

Managing a failed capture

It is possible in certain cases for an attempt to capture an authorized payment to fail.  This is usually due to the expiration of the authorization.  If this happens, you will see the payment status change to Capture failed with a detailed error message as shown below.  You will also see that there is now a Reauthorize button at the top of the page and in the Payment section.  Clicking this button will attempt to get a new authorization on the same card as originally used.  If successful, you will then see the payment status change back to Authorized and the Capture button will be available again.


If the attempt to reauthorize the card fails, the payment status will remain Capture failed and you will see a new error message and a Request Update button at the top of the page and in the Payment section.  Clicking the Request Update button will generate an email to the customer asking them to update their payment method.  If the customer successfully updates the credit card, the status of the order will change back to Authorized and you will then be able to proceed with capturing the payment.


In the next article, you will learn about refunding payments.


Build WordPress stores with modern technology

Sign up to use the Prodigy platform, a powerful alternative to WooCommerce. Prodigy is free at ANY scale.

Create an Account