Capture Date

Dates are important for record-keeping purposes to identify when funds were transferred from one account to another. The Capture Date is also an essential part of credit card processing. Here is information on why the Capture Date is so vital.

What is the Capture?

On the face of it, credit card processing might seem very simple with a customer purchasing goods and services in exchange for payments. Behind-the-scenes, there are many elements that must be checked off before the transaction can be finalized: verification, authentication, funds availability, authorization, capture and funds transfer. When everything works out, the customer will receive his goods or services and the merchant will receive his money.

When the merchant is authorized to receive payment for his goods or services, he is given the Capture. The Capture is the legal right to be “paid for goods or services rendered” by debiting the customer account and crediting the merchant account.

What the Merchant Sees

When a customer presents his credit card to purchase a good or service, the merchant is primarily waiting for authorization to Capture the funds from the customer’s account. In both card “present” and “absent” transactions, merchants will wait for the authorization before delivering the goods or services. Each month, the business owner can check each transaction detail on his credit card processing report.

When is the Capture Date?

After the credit card is authorized, the merchant will receive his Capture right. The Capture Date is the official calendar date on which a transaction was captured (i.e. day, month and year). Usually this will be the date when the credit card was swiped; if it is past a bank’s normal operating hours, the official Capture Date may be the next day. This Capture Date is important to determine who should be paid and in what order.

Is there a time limit for Capture?

Just like a cheque, there is a time limit in which the merchant must transfer funds from the customer account to his merchant account. Usually, the capture is automatic when the credit card is authorized.

Does the Capture Date change if online goods or services are not delivered?

Legally, the Capture Date uses the brick-and-mortar assumption that goods or services are delivered when payments are transferred. With non-delivery, the Capture Date must be changed or a refund must be issued.