With a credit card payment, a pre-authorization, or reservation, is often carried out. In this context, capture refers to the time when the credit card is finally charged with the transaction’s amount. In other words, it is a request for settlement. The customer will only then be debited, even if the credit card data was previously recorded or entered. A complete authorization is achieved when the reservation and capture have taken place.

Capture enables online merchants to be paid

The capture is the process of converting an authorized transaction into a transferable sum from the customer's credit card account to the online merchant’s account. The merchant may only capture authorised transactions.

Before the capture, the sums due cannot reach the online retailer, as the amount is not deducted in yet from the end customer's credit card. The full amount, or a partial amount if the customer pays by installments, is only booked by the credit card once the items have shipped. The booking may be canceled if the capture has not been done within a certain time, often a week after the reservation. Funds are not immediately available after capture; funds are available after settlement.