Transaction Types

When you semi-integrate your POS system with Clover devices, merchants can conduct different types of customer transactions using these devices.

For instance, at full-service restaurants, merchants can charge customers first for the bill amount and then for the tip amount even after the customer credit card has been charged. At retail stores, tips are not expected. At hotels, merchants can place a hold on a customer payment method (physical card or digital wallet) during check-in and then update the transaction with necessary charges during check-out.

To support such a wide variety of merchant businesses, Clover provides 3 types of customer transactions on semi-integrated Clover devices. Our SDKs reflect these distinctions with corresponding classes.

Table 1: Semi-Integration Transaction Types and Corresponding Classes

Transaction Type Corresponding Classes

Sale

SaleRequest and SaleResponse

Auth

AuthRequest and AuthResponse

Pre-Auth (US Only)

PreAuthRequest and PreAuthResponse

Each transaction class inherits from the TransactionRequest and TransactionResponse parent classes.

The next sections explain the 3 transaction types in detail.

Sale

A Sale is a customer transaction where the purchase amount is authorized and settled at the same time. While a tip amount can be added, it is permitted only before the transaction is authorized and settled.

If a Sale is not voided within 25 minutes, the merchant funding process begins for this Sale. At this point, the merchant can still refund the customer.

Typical businesses where Sale transactions occur include:

  • Quick service restaurants, where customers select a tip amount before before completing the transaction with a payment

  • Retail stores, where tips are not expected

Auth

An Auth is a customer transaction where the purchase amount is authorized, and then can be tip adjusted even after the transaction is authorized. Tip adjustment can be made without requiring the customer’s payment method (physical card or digital wallet) to interact with the Clover device for a second time.

The merchant funding process for the day begins at closeout when the Auth or batch of Auth transactions is settled. Before an Auth is settled, there is no limit to the number of times a merchant can adjust the tip amount on a Clover device. This is helpful in case of human errors.

Closeout
Closeout is a process of informing the payment gateway about initiating the merchant funding process. Tip amounts (if any) are added to the Auth amounts before the payment gateway is informed.

Typical businesses where Auth transactions occur include full-service restaurants, where customers can use a credit card to authorize an initial value, and then add a tip amount to the receipt after the card has been charged.

Note

It is important to note the following rules about tip adjustments:

  • The most recent tip adjustment overrides all previous tip adjust amounts. Tip adjustments are not summed.

  • We at Clover do not place a limit on tip adjustment amounts. However, we cannot provide chargeback protection against disputed transactions by customers if merchants tip adjust amounts more than 20% of the bill.

Pre-Auth (US Only)

A Pre-Auth is a customer transaction where the merchant can validate that a given amount is available on the customer payment method (physical card or digital wallet), and then also place a hold for that amount. This amount is deducted from the customer account (credit limit or bank balance), but not yet transferred to the merchant.

Once the merchant captures a Pre-Auth amount, the transaction further continues as an Auth transaction and is governed by the same Auth transaction rules.

Warning

For the merchant to be funded, the Pre-Auth amounts must be captured before closeout.

Typical businesses where Pre-Auth transactions occur include:

  • Hotels, where a hold is placed on a customer credit card during check-in and is later adjusted for policies, such as incidental damages and in-room charges

  • Car rental agencies, where a hold is placed on a customer credit card during vehicle hand-off and is later adjusted for policies, such as possible incidental damages, late return of vehicle, and failing to refuel

Capturing Pre-Auth Amounts

Merchants must capture Pre-Auth amounts to have funds transferred to their account. There are 2 important cases about capturing Pre-Auth amounts:

  • Capturing a part of the Pre-Auth amount: When merchants capture a part of the Pre-Auth amount, the remaining amount is credited back to the customer account. For instance, for a $300 Pre-Auth transaction, if a merchant captures $180, the remaining $120 is credited back to the customer account.

  • Capturing more than the Pre-Auth amount: When merchants capture a Pre-Auth amount that is greater than the original amount, funds are not guaranteed due to possible insufficient funds in the customer account. In addition, if merchants capture Pre-Auth amounts more than 20% of the original amount, funds are not guaranteed subject to the rules set by card schemes (such as Visa and MasterCard) and electronic payment associations.

Note

Merchants can void a Pre-Auth transaction for releasing the funds held from a customer account.

Debit and Credit Card Pre-Auth Transactions

If a customer uses a debit card for a Pre-Auth transaction, the transaction may become invalid if it is not captured anywhere between one and eight business days depending on the card institution policy. Specific merchants, such car rental agencies, should avoid accepting debit cards since the Pre-Auth hold can expire before the transaction is captured and settled.

If a customer uses a credit card, the transaction may continue to stay on hold for as long as thirty days depending on the card institution policy.