Transaction Types

This section contains a detailed explanation of available transaction types supported on the AGMS Gateway and an explanation of how to use them properly.

Quick Reference

Type Description
Authorization Request to charge a customer's card for a specific amount. Learn More
Capture Capture a previous valid authorization so it is included in the next settlement to be processed and deposited.
Sale An Authorization and a Capture in the same transaction.
Refund Returns a specific amount to the cardholder's account with a direct link to a previous sale. Learn More
Credit Returns a specific amount to the cardholder's account, without needing to be directly linked to a previous sale. Learn More
Void Cancels an authorization or sale that has not yet been settled and processed. Learn More
Adjustment Adjust the amount of a authorization or sale that has not yet been settled and processed, most often to add a Tip Amount.

Lifecycle of a Transaction

Funds from a customer's account are not available to the business until the transaction has gone through the entire process outlined below. The life of a transaction begins with:

  1. Card is authorized to verify that the card is valid and sufficient funds are available.
  2. Approved authorization is captured, typically as part of the same sale transaction.
  3. Transaction is settled in the evening as part of the daily batch.
  4. All transactions in the batch are processed, depositing funds into the business bank account and calculating processsing fees.


Authorization: A request for permission to process a designated dollar amount on a customer's card, returns either an approval or decline. If the authorization declines, a reason for the decline will be provided. If approved, an approval code will be returned. Approvals must be captured in order for the sale to complete and funds to be deposited.


Business Authorization Request
Fuel Pump A card is swiped at the pump before gas is filled. The card is authorized for $75 to make sure that there are sufficient funds available on the card to cover the cost of filling the tank. When actual amount owed is calculated, the amount is updated and the sale is captured.
Bar A card is used to open a bar tab and is authorized for a preset amount, i.e. $50.00, to verify that the card is legitimate and can support an average ending tab amount. Once the tab is closed, the amount is updated to the final amount owed and the sale is captured.
Custom Furniture An order is placed for a custom item that will take 3 months to make. In order to verify that the card is legitimate before beginning work, an authorization is done up-front to ensure that the card is valid and funds are available at that time. The authorization is then voided, the work is done, and a new authorization and capture is processed 3 months later before shipping the final product.

Handling Declines

If you receive a declined Authorization, you may attempt an Authorization request again or ask the customer to pay with a different card or method of payment. Some common reasons for receiving a declined Authorization:

  • The customer does not have the available funds for the requested amount.
  • There is already an existing Authorization and the final amount has not been determined yet.
  • The card number, expiration date, billing zip code, or cvv code was simply miskeyed.

Authorization Expiration

Authorizations are only valid for a short amount of time, typically 3-5 days. If an authorization is not voided (cancelled) or captured (explained below) before it expires, it will "fall off" and no longer reserve those funds on the customer's credit or debit card. After an authorization expires, a new authorization needs to be approved to run the sale. You can learn more about Authorization timeframes in the Best Practices section.


Authorizations are almost always used automaticaly as part of a sale, however it is possible to do an "auth only" transaction where a card is authorized but not captured. These should only be used in exceptional scenarios under the guidance of AGMS to avoid unintentional misuse of the credit and debit card system which could lead to chargebacks and penalties.

A particular area of potential issue is with debit cards. An authorization processed on a debit card will reserve funds from a customer's actual cash balance, preventing them from using that money. If a customer has a $100 balance, an authorization for $50 will immediately update their balance to $100 in the account but only $50 available. If the transaction is mistakenly double-authorized, the customer will have $0 in available funds until the erroneous authorization is reversed.


Capture: Designating a valid authorization as final and queuing it for settlement and processing, which completes the sale and deposits those funds into your bank account.

Once an authorization has been captured, it is included in the current open batch for settlement. A batch consists of one or more captured authorizations that have accumulated throughout the day. Batches are then settled to the gateway for processing and clearing, which actually moves the funds from the customer's credit or debit card into your bank account. By default, the AGMS Gateway settles all open batches nightly at 10:30pm ET. Administrative gateway users can modify that time and also initiate or "force" a settlement on-demand.

Captures require a previous Transaction ID and Amount.


Business Capture
Fuel Pump Once the gas dispensing is complete and a final amount owed is determined, the authorization is updated to the correct final amount and then captured.
Bar Closing your bar tab updates the authorization to the correct amount and captures it for settlement.
Custom Furniture When your order is ready to be shipped, if there is a valid authorization it is then captured. If the original authorization was reversed or has expired, a new authorization is approved and then captured.


Sale: Performs an authorization and capture as a single transaction.

A sale is the most common transaction type, and should be used for nearly all purchases where a product or service is being sold.


Void: Cancel an authorization, capture, or sale which has not yet been settled.

A void is a transaction that can be used to undo an authorization, capture, or sale that has not yet been submitted as part of a batch to the processor for settlement and clearing. This usually means that the transaction needs to be cancelled during the same day. When a transaction is voided, the cardholder will never see the funds leave their account and only small transaction fees will apply to both transactions.

It is important to keep in mind that a void only applies to a transaction that has not been settled. If a transaction has settled and the deposit has been received, the business would be unable to void the transaction and a refund needs to be issued instead.

Voids require a previous Transaction ID.


Refund: Reverse a previously processed sale by referencing the transaction ID of the transaction that needs to be refunded, returning those funds to the cardholder either partially or in whole.

Refunds should be used to reverse a transaction after its processed, as opposed to the transaction still pending awaiting settlement. Refunds must always reference a previous AGMS Gateway transaction ID, and will process in the specific amount of that previous transaction. If a refund is issued on a transaction that has not yet settled, the cardholder will see both a charge and a refund on their statement. Since refunds need to process and move funds, both transaction fees and processing fees apply.

Refunds require a previous Transaction ID and Amount.


Credit: Post a designated dollar amount back onto a card.

Credits are similar to refunds, but they do not associate to a previous transaction id and will process for whatever dollar amount is designated as part of the transaction. Credits are most useful for partial refunds or refunding a sale that was processed on a device or system other than the AGMS Gateway.

Credits require payment information and an Amount.